CHICAGO- United Airlines (UA) is considering its fleet plans without the Boeing 737 MAX 10 due to a series of delays and, most recently, the grounding of a smaller variant of the aircraft, as revealed by the carrier’s CEO on Tuesday (Jan 23, 2024).
The Max 10, being the largest model of the plane, has yet to receive certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
United Likely Dropping 737 MAX 10
United CEO Scott Kirby expressed frustration, stating that the plane is already facing a delay of approximately five years in the “best case” scenario.
He also voiced discontent with Boeing for the latest manufacturing issue, wherein a door plug blew out during an Alaska Airlines (AS) 737 Max 9 flight on January 5, leading to the grounding of those planes by the FAA.
United currently has 79 of the 737 MAX 9 aircraft in its fleet, surpassing other carriers. The continued grounding is expected to result in a first-quarter loss, as indicated by the airline in its fourth-quarter earnings report on Monday.
“I believe the grounding of the Max 9 is likely the decisive factor for us,” stated Kirby in a Tuesday interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “We are going to formulate a plan that excludes the Max 10.”
Back in August 2018, when Kirby held the position of United’s president, he detailed cabin plans for the approximately 100 Max 10s that the company had placed orders for.
At that time, he mentioned the carrier’s anticipation of flying these planes by 2020, emphasizing their role in replacing some older jets.
Delta CEO Confident with New Model
Delta Air Lines (DL) CEO Ed Bastian expressed confidence last week in proceeding with his airline’s order of Boeing Max 10s, as shared with CNBC.
Boeing refrained from commenting on the Max 10 on Tuesday. However, Stan Deal, the company’s CEO of commercial airplanes, mentioned in a statement that they are “taking action on a comprehensive plan to bring [737 Max 9] aeroplanes safely back to service and to improve our quality and delivery performance. We will follow the lead of the FAA and support our customers every step of the way.”
The company is slated to release quarterly results on January 31.
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