Boeing unveiled plans for a newer and bigger version of its 737 Max aircraft as it intensifies its battle with Airbus in the market for narrow-body passenger jets.
Boeing made the announcement for its new “737 Max 10” Monday at the Paris Air Show. The stretched Max 10 will become the latest variant in Boeing’s 737 Max family, which also includes the smaller Max 7, Max 8 and Max 9 types.
"Our customers told us to build it bigger," Kevin McAllister, Boeing Commercial Airplane CEO Kevin McAllister, said to CNN on Monday about the newest version of the 737 Max.
The Max 10 variant becomes the latest in Boeing’s efforts to update its workhorse 737 model. Boeing says it will seat 188 passengers in a typical two-class layout, though it could hold up to 230 in a "high-density" configuration. That's about 10 passengers more than similar capacities for the Max 9 and about about 30 more than the Max 9.
The Max 10 is aimed largely at rival Airbus and its updated A320neo family of narrowbody planes that are a direct competitor to Boeing’s 737. While the 737 remains the best-selling commercial aircraft of all time, Airbus recently has enjoyed an edge in the market for such singe-aisle jets, “outselling the U.S. plane maker roughly five to one in sales for the biggest single-aisle jets,” according to CNN.
Aviation Week adds Boeing's "additional stretch (for the Max 10) takes overall length to 143 feet and increasing two-class capacity to 189 passengers, compared to 193 for its arch-rival, the Airbus A321neo."
Part of Boeing’s agenda for this year’s Paris Air Show is to show off its 737 Max 9 in the hopes for finding new airline customers for the jet, which has had disappointing sales numbers so far.
For the Max 10, however, Boeing pledged on Monday that already had more than 240 orders secured for the larger 737 version. The company told CNN it would reveal those customers later this week, adding the that Max 10 could be flying for airlines by 2020.
More broadly, the Max family is Boeing's update to its popular 737 line of jetliners that are used mostly for medium- and short-haul flights by airlines across the globe. This latest iteration marks the third major overhaul to the 737 since the program launched in 1967 and features new engines and other aerodynamic enhancements.
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