Aircraft lessors not keen on Boeing's planned 737 jet
08 March 2017
There seem to be few takers among aircraft lessors for Boeing's offer to build a bigger version of its 737 MAX family to take on the Airbus A321neo.
Boeing has been pitching the model code-named 737 MAX 10X to airlines, as the most efficient single-aisle jetliner in the business - a claim disputed by Airbus.
Steven Udvar-Hazy, executive chairman of Air Lease, among most influential voices in the industry, says there was no point in adding a longer version of the slow-selling 737 MAX 9, which was rolled out yesterday.
"The question to ask is, would Boeing even be considering the (737) MAX 10, if it weren't for the A321neo," he said at the ISTAT Americas air finance conference.
"From all appearances, when you talk to airlines, the concept of another stretch to the 737 is really a reaction to the success of the A321neo. It is a way to protect some level of market share in that 200-seat-plus category."
In case, the company was to launch the jet, it would be one of five variants of its upgraded single-aisle 737 jet family.
However, the most successful model had been the 162-seater 737 MAX 8, the successor to Boeing's hugely successful 737-800.
However, according to Randy Tinseth, a Boeing vice-president of marketing, Boeing was in talks with carriers and lessors for the Max 10X and had ''extended business offers'' to some potential buyers as it built a case for the narrow-body jet at the conference.
According to commentators, Boeing would need to consider timing and price, in its high-stakes chess match with Airbus for dominance of the single-aisle market. The 737 and A320 family aircraft, long favoured by budget carriers, were the largest source of profit for the aerospace titans.
Investments to the tune of billions of dollars were at stake but a number of factors could play spoilsport from cheap oil to supplier stumbles.