The aircraft is the second most ordered variant of the MAX family.
Boeing now has an order book for more than 700 737 MAX 10 aircraft across more than 15 different airlines, including United Airlines, with more than 200 units ordered.
With one of the largest 737 MAX fleets within the US, United Airlines is eager to receive the largest version of the MAX aircraft as its 1st aircraft has been spotted in Seattle with its white and blue livery.
The registration will be N27753 and serial number 7935, which will eventually be the 1st aircraft type for United Airlines and the third aircraft type manufactured by the Chicago-based manufacturer. However, given the current uncertainty surrounding the certification of the 737 MAX 10, it seems United Airlines might not be welcoming the aircraft anytime soon.
Federal Aviation Administration
When the Aircraft Safety and Certification Reform Act became law in late 2020, it demanded updates to any new aircraft certifications issued. Back then, Boeing managed to negotiate a two-year delay in enforcement, expecting that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would sign off on its MAX 7 and MAX 10 variants before the end of this year. However, that extended deadline is running out and Boeing will soon be out of options.
The Chicago-based manufacturer hopes to avoid going through the procedure of upgrading the flight deck to meet the new safety certification needs. Boeing might also ask for yet another extension.
Chief Executive Officer David Calhoun stated:
“If I lose the fight to avoid upgrading the flight deck, I lose the fight, and the MAX 10 would not be developed.” Congress could decide not to grant another extension and order to change the current flight deck for the Boeing 737 MAX 10.
Still, it would need plenty of time and financial prices from several parties involved, including Boeing and the airlines, as they re-implement additional training for pilots to operate a new flight deck on the MAX 10. If Congress chooses to provide another extension, the certification of the aircraft continues to go around in circles.
- As the certification for the sought-after narrowbody has a high possibility of not assuming flight, what could this mean for its launch customer United Airlines?
With over 200 aircraft in the books and the 1st one already painted and ready, not having the aircraft certified and delivered does hinder the Star Alliance member airline’s development and fleet renewal plans.
Not having access to the largest of the MAX variants, and even if United Airlines were to swap some of its orders for the MAX 8 or MAX 9, the airline would still lose at least 10% of its planned future capacity.
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The lack of the MAX 10 would also hinder the replacement of the airline’s aging Boeing 757-200s, in which the narrowbody was supposed to be configured with the lie-flat beds for premium cabins. Again, the premium cabins could be retrofitted in the more minor variants, but it would not bring many economic profits from passenger comforts.
Without the Boeing 737 MAX 10, airline customers like United Airlines might not have many choices, but it might seem that Congress does not either. Rival manufacturer Airbus has made solid plans with the three most significant Chinese airlines, and the worldwide aviation industry cannot have one aircraft supplier being too dominant.
Boeing will further lose if the MAX 10 does not get certified sooner rather than later, and it could also face problems from possible foreign certification concerns.
For now, the fate of the MAX 10 still faces challenging uncertainty, and no one is sure which direction it might go.
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