United Airlines & Boeing 737 MAX 10: No Longer A Sure Thing

United Airlines & Boeing 737 MAX 10: No Longer A Sure Thing

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The Boeing 737 MAX is once again back in the spotlight, following an incident with an Alaska 737 MAX 9 at the beginning of the year. Regulators have made it clear that they’re now investigating Boeing, and this will fundamentally change the relationship between Boeing and regulators.

While the most immediate question is when the 737 MAX 9 will reenter service (which has the biggest implications for Alaska and United), it’s worth keeping in mind that the 737 MAX 7 and 737 MAX 10 haven’t yet been certified, and this latest issue will almost certainly push back the timeline further (which has the biggest implications for Southwest and United, respectively).

United Airlines building plan without 737 MAX 10

United Airlines is Boeing’s biggest customer, and the airline has hundreds of Boeing 737 MAXs on order. In addition to the 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9 (which are already in service), the airline also has 150 737 MAX 10s on order. This is the largest variant of the aircraft, and is a key part of United’s plan to increase capacity in many markets.

United CEO Scott Kirby had some interesting comments about Boeing, and in particular about the 737 MAX 10, during a Squawk Box interview yesterday morning:

  • “I have a lot of confidence in the people of Boeing, but they’ve been having these consistent manufacturing challenges, and they need to take action”
  • “We’re now best case five years behind on the original delivery of the MAX 10, and as we’ve gone through the last year, internally at United, we’ve grown increasingly to believe that best case, the MAX 10 just gets pushed further and further to the right, so we’ve already started working on alternative plans”
  • “I think the MAX 9 grounding is probably the straw that broke the camel’s back for us, we’re gonna at least build a plan that doesn’t have the MAX 10 in it”

The 737 MAX 10 has been delayed by years, and up until recently, it seemed like certification was imminent. One has to assume that the timeline has just been pushed back further, given the latest 737 MAX issues.

For United, the 737 MAX 10 was going to have the best per-seat costs of any narrow body jets. On top of that, United was planning on installing flat beds on some 737 MAX 10s, using them as the new aircraft for premium transcontinental routes (in the same way American will use A321XLRs, and Delta will use A321neos).

The Boeing 737 MAX 10 is an important part of United’s strategy

What other fleet plans could United make?

United Airlines executives are of course right to be frustrated with the Boeing 737 MAX 10 delay. However, I have to assume that the “plans” that United is now making are more a theoretical exercise than anything concrete.

The 737 MAX 10 probably won’t be certified any time soon, so where does that leave United? Aircraft manufacturing is essentially a duopoly, so United’s options are limited:

  • United could simply keep flying its existing aircraft for longer, and this would likely spell a longer life for the Boeing 757, among other aircraft
  • United could order even more Airbus A321neos, which are the best direct replacement for the 737 MAX 10, and United already has 130 of these on order
  • United could simply swap Boeing 737 MAX 10 orders for more 737 MAX 9s and 737 MAX 8s, as those planes are already certified

Realistically, I expect not a whole lot will actually change in the foreseeable future. United will likely continue taking delivery of its A321neos, 737 MAX 8s, and 737 MAX 9s, while we wait to see what happens with the 737 MAX 10 certification.

I imagine the 737 MAX 10 will be certified at some point, which is to say that I don’t think the plane is totally doomed. But still, it’s clear that United at least isn’t counting on this jet in the next couple of years… and it shouldn’t.

Could United order more Airbus A321neos?

Bottom line

United Airlines’ management is expressing concerns about the prospect of the 737 MAX 10 being certified any time soon, given Boeing’s latest 737 MAX issues. While the company’s CEO claims that they’re working out a future plan that doesn’t involve the 737 MAX 10, I have to imagine we won’t actually see much happen here, since it’s not like there are many great alternatives with immediate delivery options.

What do you make of United’s Boeing 737 MAX 10 situation?

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  1. Nonfanboy Guest

    Love all the Airbus fanboys on here, how much are you paid to post this bullshit? Boeing has a significantly better design and Airbus just can't stand it, it might take a bit longer, but it is going to crush Airbus.

  2. Anthony Joseph Guest

    This version of aircraft should NEVER BE APPROVED. The whole 737 MAX design is totally flawed when they had to move the engines forward on the wing mount. This was the root cause of the 2 fatal crashes because it is so EASY to exceed the angle of takeoff.
    Also, how many tail strikes is it going to take before there are other disasters.
    Boeing should be redesigning a next generation aircraft with...

    This version of aircraft should NEVER BE APPROVED. The whole 737 MAX design is totally flawed when they had to move the engines forward on the wing mount. This was the root cause of the 2 fatal crashes because it is so EASY to exceed the angle of takeoff.
    Also, how many tail strikes is it going to take before there are other disasters.
    Boeing should be redesigning a next generation aircraft with composites instead of brute forcing an ancient aircraft design.
    The executives at Boeing should be summarily dismissed w/o golden parachutes. Building commercial planes should be of national strategic importance just like the chip manufacturing industry. Boeing should be forced to spin off commercial airplane group from the military.

  3. Capo Guest

    Boeing should go back to being headquartered in the PNW where it should never left. Management next to engineering and manufacturing.

    Having said that... Drop the horrible 737. Bring the 757 back, that was a Ferrari of the skies! Else: just buy Airbus, much better.

  4. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The FAA says that MAX 9s can get back in service once an inspection process is completed.
    Alaska, which voluntarily grounded its fleet before the FAA required it, will be first back in the air with MAX 9 flights returning before United which plans for MAX 9 flights on Sunday.

  5. Jason Guest

    With delivery slots so far into the future options to significantly change direction are limited. One possibility is to make the 321 neo the premium trans con aircraft and change -10 orders to -9 and -8 slots as United had already done for some -10s this would ensure a consistent flow of deliveries to continue to drive increased seats per departure. This would not drive the same increase in seats per departure as a -10...

    With delivery slots so far into the future options to significantly change direction are limited. One possibility is to make the 321 neo the premium trans con aircraft and change -10 orders to -9 and -8 slots as United had already done for some -10s this would ensure a consistent flow of deliveries to continue to drive increased seats per departure. This would not drive the same increase in seats per departure as a -10 but being 5 feet longer you can only reasonably get 2 additional rows of seats in economy or use that space to increase premium seating in a lie-flat configuration.

  6. flashratt Guest

    Its a PR nightmare, who wants to get on a plane with so many issues in the press?

  7. Josh Guest

    DROP THE MAX NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Horrible aircraft from a sketchy Boeing company!! Make the CORRECT choice to DUMP THIS MESS NOW!

  8. UncleRonnie Guest

    UA flying high-density 787s around domestic routes could be interesting….

  9. Robert Member

    Honestly, I'm not sure what's the point of having both the a321neo, A321XLR and MAX 10. United should just tell Boeing they're canceling and ordering the a321 with the caveat their orders will be good for a cleansheet narrowbody plane (i.e. a 757 successor) to replace the a321s 20 years down the road.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      United likely could have never written a contract that would just allow its order for any Boeing airplane to be cancelled and then applied to something which Boeing doesn't even offer.

      Delta inherited a 787 order from Northwest which was one of the earliest customers for the 787-8. NW wasn't satisfied w/ the plane and its weight, Delta doubled down on its dislike of the early 787, and eventually converted the 787 order into end...

      United likely could have never written a contract that would just allow its order for any Boeing airplane to be cancelled and then applied to something which Boeing doesn't even offer.

      Delta inherited a 787 order from Northwest which was one of the earliest customers for the 787-8. NW wasn't satisfied w/ the plane and its weight, Delta doubled down on its dislike of the early 787, and eventually converted the 787 order into end of the production line 737-900ERs.
      It is possible to convert orders from one airplane model to another but it is not a given.

      Delta did specifically note that it has the right to convert its MAX 10 order to other Boeing aircraft if delays happen beyond what Delta is willing to endure.

      United needs planes more than a credit which is why Scott Kirby is making so much noise right now. His growth plan won't work based on credits for future aircraft.

  10. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    As far as transcon options go, they actually have a hail mary waiting in the wings: their delayed A350 order.

    Though most believe it's unlike they'd be taken, after being pushed back to 2027: that's still a firm order, that could (in theory) be accelerated should Airbus find the slots.

    Of course THOSE aircraft wouldn't operate transcons, but they could create a cascading effect by freeing up 787s/777s, which in turn frees up 763s/764s, which...

    As far as transcon options go, they actually have a hail mary waiting in the wings: their delayed A350 order.

    Though most believe it's unlike they'd be taken, after being pushed back to 2027: that's still a firm order, that could (in theory) be accelerated should Airbus find the slots.

    Of course THOSE aircraft wouldn't operate transcons, but they could create a cascading effect by freeing up 787s/777s, which in turn frees up 763s/764s, which could then do some of the NYC/WAS-California transcons.

    Basically, be the same as DL, at least from New York.

    Perhaps not the optimum situation that they planned, but one that they can do with the assets they've already purchased, and will leave them in similar situation to one of their largest rivals.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      United execs just said that the A350 won't even be in UA's fleet until the 2030s undoubtedly because UA can't afford any new large airplane orders right now - they already are spending more than 3X more on aircraft this decade than Delta. UA also has probably kicked the A350 order down the road so many times that they don't have firm slots but they do have plenty of 787s on order.
      UA will...

      United execs just said that the A350 won't even be in UA's fleet until the 2030s undoubtedly because UA can't afford any new large airplane orders right now - they already are spending more than 3X more on aircraft this decade than Delta. UA also has probably kicked the A350 order down the road so many times that they don't have firm slots but they do have plenty of 787s on order.
      UA will use the 787 to replace their 767 fleet and will probably begin to retire the 777-200s with 787s and use A350s to replace the latter part of the 777 fleet including the 777-300ERs.
      Problem is that Delta will have a fleet of at least 60 A350s including 20 A350-1000s that are far more capable and fuel efficient than any UA widebody aircraft.
      Five years is a long time for being uncompetitive

    2. Tim sucks Guest

      Leave it to Tim to be an unbiased loser.

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      the only losers are those people that post anonymously under a continuous cycle of fake usernames that mock other people.

      I said in a published article months ago that United's growth plan was unlikely to succeed as planned and that is exactly what is happening and was true even before the latest MAX disaster. Boeing has not been delivering even the MAX 8s and 9s that UA are receiving now on-time. UA execs just said...

      the only losers are those people that post anonymously under a continuous cycle of fake usernames that mock other people.

      I said in a published article months ago that United's growth plan was unlikely to succeed as planned and that is exactly what is happening and was true even before the latest MAX disaster. Boeing has not been delivering even the MAX 8s and 9s that UA are receiving now on-time. UA execs just said that even their own fleet plan for 2024 is unlikely to happen as they posted it.

      Scott Kirby should know better but he is intoxicated by his own ego which has included trashing other airlines over the past year. He built a growth plan that anyone that was halfway objective knew was unrealistic.

      And Alaska was foolish getting rid of the A320 family given how many problems the MAX had while Southwest should have diversified away from the 737 family a long time ago.

      Every single one of these airlines and more will pay a price for their loyalty to Boeing.

      So, yeah, the losers come out of the woodwork when truth-tellers are seeing the obvious now develop.
      Grow up and accept reality.

    4. Tim smells Guest

      No, you grow up! fanboyism is gross

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      you clearly can't stand the facts so play childish games.

      You are the one that needs to grow up.

      None of which changes that United's growth plan, not me, is screwed.

    6. MaxPower Diamond

      Always amusing to see the fake name, Tim Dunn, lecturing others about posting anonymously.
      The hypocrisy never ends :)
      You can always go back to your banned airliners.net names since the Tim Dunn brand is a laughingstock

      I do agree with you that United’s growth plan has taken a huge dent which is a nice breath of fresh air from your prior takes ridiculing Uni

    7. MaxPower Diamond

      *ridiculing United for building a growth plan off a firm order book with Boeing ajd Airbus aircraft as though United should’ve built a fleet plan trying to forecast MAX10 certification delays.
      That point of yours was just dumb. But I certainly agree with your more sane point that United Next is dented pretty heavily.

      But then again, so is delta’s 100 max10 aircraft growth

    8. Tim Dunn Diamond

      If you would bother to read Seeking Alpha, you would see that I use my same real name - and they don't allow anonymous names. Either you have to use your real name or you have to use a company name with a disclosed professional relationship.

      And you clearly haven't bothered to read well. I HAVE specifically said that UA's growth plan was too aggressive given ANY constraint but esp. given that it was...

      If you would bother to read Seeking Alpha, you would see that I use my same real name - and they don't allow anonymous names. Either you have to use your real name or you have to use a company name with a disclosed professional relationship.

      And you clearly haven't bothered to read well. I HAVE specifically said that UA's growth plan was too aggressive given ANY constraint but esp. given that it was so heavily dependent on the MAX and not just the MAX 10. The FAA just said that Boeing cannot increase production of the MAX until it fixes its production problems which guarantees that UAL's MAXs won't arrive on time even if they convert every order to MAX 9s or 8s.

      You clearly aren't capable of admitting it but there have been signs about Boeing's poor build quality and delays for more than 15 years. and since covid, Airbus has had delivery delays due to engine and other supplier issues. For United to build such an aggressive expansion plan on top of having the oldest fleet when it is clear they will have to retire aircraft was just plain foolish.

      I don't expect you to admit it because Scott Kirby probably never will admit it but any semi-objective observer of the industry is in no way surprised that UA's growth plans are going up in smoke.

      And the airline you love to mock will continue to add aircraft faster because it is using a combination of new Airbus and used Boeing aircraft.

      and, yes, Delta is committed to the MAX 10 but has enough Airbus options that they can undoubtedly work around Boeing's delays.
      DL never had as aggressive of a growth plan as UA but has managed to match UA's capacity growth and generate far more revenue and profits in the process.

      those are cold hard facts whether you want to accept them and regardless of whether you mock anyone that tells them to you or not.

    9. MaxPower Diamond

      It’s a new answer every week. Today Tim Dunn is your real name. Three weeks ago you said it wasn’t when specifically asked if it’s what’s on your driver’s license … and you were asked that specifically because of the silliness of you calling out others for their use of a Nom de Plume which you have done for quite some time.
      But regardless of what your name is, because it really doesn’t matter,...

      It’s a new answer every week. Today Tim Dunn is your real name. Three weeks ago you said it wasn’t when specifically asked if it’s what’s on your driver’s license … and you were asked that specifically because of the silliness of you calling out others for their use of a Nom de Plume which you have done for quite some time.
      But regardless of what your name is, because it really doesn’t matter, you’ve spent decades trolling various message boards with fake usernames and banned from them. I think my personal favorite is when you have too many drinks and reply to yourself with a guest name acting like someone agrees with you.
      Always amusing.

    10. MaxPower Diamond

      And a quick google search suggests you aren’t being truth about seeking alpha (shocking!!! )

      “ While Seeking Alpha greatly prefers that authors use their real names, we recognize that is not always possible. Due to regulations at their workplace or other factors, some analysts are not able to reveal their real names. In addition, many well-known, veteran stock market bloggers write under a pseudonym. To allow these writers to reach a broad investment public...

      And a quick google search suggests you aren’t being truth about seeking alpha (shocking!!! )

      “ While Seeking Alpha greatly prefers that authors use their real names, we recognize that is not always possible. Due to regulations at their workplace or other factors, some analysts are not able to reveal their real names. In addition, many well-known, veteran stock market bloggers write under a pseudonym. To allow these writers to reach a broad investment public that's interested in reading and discussing their ideas, Seeking Alpha permits our analysts to remain anonymous to the public if they prefer.”

      Seeking alpha requires your name but they don’t require you use your real name as an analyst.
      If you’re going to make things up, at least make them good.

      https://about.seekingalpha.com/policy-on-pseudonymous-analysts

    11. Tim Dunn Diamond

      as usual, you didn't bother to quote the full text and, in this case, the most important part
      "Seeking Alpha still holds pseudonymous analysts to the same compliance and biographical standards as analysts who write under their real name. We insist on receiving the analyst’s real name and contact information (which we keep confidential) and maintain a correspondence with the analyst, forwarding the analyst any questions or concerns that may emerge about their articles"

      ...

      as usual, you didn't bother to quote the full text and, in this case, the most important part
      "Seeking Alpha still holds pseudonymous analysts to the same compliance and biographical standards as analysts who write under their real name. We insist on receiving the analyst’s real name and contact information (which we keep confidential) and maintain a correspondence with the analyst, forwarding the analyst any questions or concerns that may emerge about their articles"

      In other words, you are NOT anonymous as an analyst on Seeking Alpha which is completely different than the way you operate on the internet.

      Feel free to show me where I said Tim Dunn is not on my driver's license.
      I'll wait because you, as usual are making stuff up.

      And arguing incessantly about what name I write under is yet ANOTHER attempt to discredit me because you don't like the reality that I post.

      United's growth plan was never realistic, I said it, it is published on Seeking Alpha, and you can't stand to admit that I am right.

      Grow up, child. You hitched your wagon to the wrong star and you got bit.
      Badly.

    12. MaxPower Diamond

      Nice try to forget and redirect what you said about seeking alpha and your own previous admissions about using a pseudonym. When you get called out easily in a blatant lie, just own it and move on. Yet another reason your pseudonym is a joke.

      Sleep tight, tim. Your reality is a fascinating place but it isn’t the real world or factual because you think it is.

    13. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Hey Max,
      since you didn't bother to actually read the Seeking Alpha article, I'll copy a few key points for you:
      - United’s Covid Strategies Paid Off
      -United has overscheduled its Newark operation and the disruption will not only diminish UAL’s revenues but also increase its costs.
      -The size of United's growth plan and the ability of many dependencies to respond to their plan appears to be problematic.
      - UAL...

      Hey Max,
      since you didn't bother to actually read the Seeking Alpha article, I'll copy a few key points for you:
      - United’s Covid Strategies Paid Off
      -United has overscheduled its Newark operation and the disruption will not only diminish UAL’s revenues but also increase its costs.
      -The size of United's growth plan and the ability of many dependencies to respond to their plan appears to be problematic.
      - UAL is committing a significantly larger amount to fleet spending than any other U.S. airline without addressing its fleet age or gaining the efficiencies that come from newer aircraft.
      - United will increasingly be at a significant operating cost advantage to other airlines
      -UAL’s capacity plans based on the MAX could be altered for two years or more.
      - The size of the labor cost increases at American, Delta and United should legitimately raise the question of whether the airlines can afford them.
      -The biggest target of United’s strategy appears to be Southwest
      - Add in an aggressive growth plan that involves aircraft, airport terminal, and labor cost increases and United might be the most vulnerable to execute a major growth plan.
      -When comparing revenue sources to debt, UAL’s strategy of increasing debt to gain revenue is far riskier than AAL’s which is based on using more of its existing asset base while DAL, like AAL, is not only reducing its debt but also spending considerably less to renew its fleet and grow than UAL.

      and the kicker, since Seeking Alpha is an investment advice site, is that UAL stock took a major nosedive after the article was published on July 17, 2023 and UAL stock has since fallen over 23%. I offered a generous HOLD recommendation which in reality should have been a SELL.

      So, yeah, MAX baby, I was dead on right and conservative on every point I made.

      UAL has been a horrible investment in the 6 months since the article was written and UAL has done worse than other airline stocks including DAL.

      The real issue is that you can't stand that I am right on the facts and data so you engage in endless character assassination, trying to smear my character so you don't have to admit that I understand perfectly how the airline industry really operates.

      UAL trailed DAL in revenue and earnings for 2023. AAL will report its earnings in just hours.
      DAL sits at the top of the industry in every dimension.
      UAL is trying desperately to outperform DAL but is a swing and a miss over and over and over again.

      I was right in the article, UAL's growth plan is a miss. Boeing's delays are costing UAL on the bottom line. UAL's growth still doesn't deliver industry-leading results.

    14. Tiger Guest

      No one explains better than Tim Dunn. I appreciate your explanation. Thank you.

  11. stogieguy7 Gold

    As a UA frequent flyer, I'd be delighted if they ordered more A321's and nixed the 737MAX 10 order. Frankly, Boeing has tried to do too much with a very old and somewhat limited airframe and UA seems to be planning for the MAX 10 to perform missions that it can certainly do, but not as comfortably as other models could.

    Now, this would be a somewhat cosmetic factor IF Boeing were manufacturing these...

    As a UA frequent flyer, I'd be delighted if they ordered more A321's and nixed the 737MAX 10 order. Frankly, Boeing has tried to do too much with a very old and somewhat limited airframe and UA seems to be planning for the MAX 10 to perform missions that it can certainly do, but not as comfortably as other models could.

    Now, this would be a somewhat cosmetic factor IF Boeing were manufacturing these things with the same eye to quality that they once had. But no, it's been demonstrated over and over again that today's Boeing is the equivalent of GM in 1982. Nothing bold and lackluster quality control. In this case, outsourced to please the overly pampered shareholders. Which is Boeing's #1 goal now, shareholder value. Engineering aircraft production is merely a cost of doing business to Boeing's c-suite weasels.

    1. jedipenguin Guest

      Boeing needs to go out of business. Airbus can buy the facilities in Washington and South Carolina to expand their lines.

    2. ORD_Is_My_Second_Home Member

      Being a UA 1K, I'd be disgusted if they ordered more A321s and nixed the MAX 10 order. This is an airline that was once a sister company of Boeing. They've been Boeing's biggest customer over the years. They need to support Boeing now in its hour of need. I'm nauseated that they've received A321s in the first place.

    3. shza Gold

      I'm also a UA 1k. I don't know why that would make me loyal to Boeing, which -- as stogleguy7 says -- seems like GM in the 80s. UA doesn't owe Boeing any "support in its hour of need" if it means accepting an inferior product to offer to its own customers.

    4. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Why on earth does a private corporation whose fiscal responsibility is to its shareholders, and operational responsibility is to its customers...

      ..."need to support" any other independent private entity, particularly one who (by all objective means) is delivering a subpar and late product?

  12. Bill Haddon Guest

    "United Airlines & Boeing 737 MAX 10: No Longer A Sure Thing" - Said Ben with a HUGE smile on his face and a gleeful giggle.

    1. Jordan Diamond

      What's wrong with that? We like what we like!

    2. Bill Haddon Guest

      Journalism? Perhaps the "yello" variety.

  13. Parnel Guest

    It's time to throw out the order for 737-10 and swap to 321s instead.
    Reality the 321 is a better plane from a passenger point of view.
    However how to convince Airbus to "speed up" deliver of more 321s would be a huge issue.

  14. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Scott Kirby's delusional United NEXT plan is now coming face to face w/ the same reality that Southwest has faced for the past 5 years - Boeing's inability to deliver reliable airplanes anywhere close to on-time. Southwest is having to do expensive overhauls on 737-700s it wanted to retire.
    Boeing developed and sold the MAX 10 to try to cut the massive advantage that the A321 has over the 737 at the top end...

    Scott Kirby's delusional United NEXT plan is now coming face to face w/ the same reality that Southwest has faced for the past 5 years - Boeing's inability to deliver reliable airplanes anywhere close to on-time. Southwest is having to do expensive overhauls on 737-700s it wanted to retire.
    Boeing developed and sold the MAX 10 to try to cut the massive advantage that the A321 has over the 737 at the top end of the narrowbody lineup but there simply is not anywhere enough production capacity in the A321 line up in order for any airline to get hundreds of copies of any new jet in the near term.
    United is buying so many new Boeing aircraft in part by using credits from its earlier delayed 787 and MAX orders and Boeing will have to compensate other airlines once again for delays to the MAX 7 and 10 as well as the 777X but all of those credits cannot fully offset the loss of airline profitability and market share - actual or planned - that Boeing is causing.
    Because of the size of UA's MAX order book, they will have to keep existing aircraft in their fleet longer which will also require more expensive maintenance and reduced fuel savings, take more smaller MAXs which will reduce their impacted their planned costs and revenues, and order whatever A321s they can get.
    Just because Scott Kirby is throwing a fit now won't change that United was overly dependent on Boeing for an excessively aggressive growth plan and not only will United's fleet age remain the oldest among US carriers but UA will not grow near as much which has major implications on UA's ability to grow its domestic revenues which also impacts its relatively low value credit card partnership which requires a large domestic system.

    WN has put up w/ Boeing's messes for just as long as UA will now face. WN's business model and network has changed as it has had to take delivery of larger MAX 8s than it wants. UA will survive and adapt but many of the platitudes that Scott Kirby and his fan base spout simply won't happen - but they wouldn't have happened before and he/ will now blame Boeing.

    1. betterbub Diamond

      At what point though does an airline swing too far in the other direction and lean towards being too reliant on Airbus? No company is immune to ruining itself. Boeing was once the gold standard of commercial aircraft too

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      that is absolutely fair but Airbus is producing and delivering 4 aircraft families compared to 2 from Boeing right now.
      Delta happens to be the largest Airbus operator in the world right now, is taking deliveries from all 4 Airbus families, is still one of the largest Boeing operators with the largest remaining passenger fleets of 757s and 767s and also has MAX 10s on order.
      Delta has been asking Boeing for years...

      that is absolutely fair but Airbus is producing and delivering 4 aircraft families compared to 2 from Boeing right now.
      Delta happens to be the largest Airbus operator in the world right now, is taking deliveries from all 4 Airbus families, is still one of the largest Boeing operators with the largest remaining passenger fleets of 757s and 767s and also has MAX 10s on order.
      Delta has been asking Boeing for years to develop all-new aircraft to replace the 757 and 767 but the 787 will be Boeing's only all new aircraft for the 21st century and that likely won't change for over 30 and perhaps 40 years.
      The MAX and 777X are both redesigns; for Airbus, they have redesigned the A320 and A330 families while the A350 and A220 are both all-new designs for this century. The A220 is an acquired product from Bombardier but it highlights that Airbus has a deeper and newer product line.
      Boeing needs to fix the problems w/ its existing products and then start investing heavily in all-new products including a complete replacement of the 737 family - which is what Delta asked them to do over a decade ago.

    3. ORD_Is_My_Second_Home Member

      "Delta is the largest Airbus customer in the world." Translation from Tim to Human: Airbus must be the perfect airplane because the perfect airline is the world's biggest user of them. Just like anything that Tim says, this is propaganda.

    4. Brian W Guest

      As Ed B said on the earnings call, Delta (and other airlines) are having a challenging time with aquiring engine components for their MRO unit, driving up costs. It is not just Boeing having issues, but engine OEMs are having supply chain issues too.

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      It is absolutely true that there are supply chain issues and issues with several engine models.
      But those are very different from having an aircraft model grounded AGAIN.

      and there is nothing perfect about being the largest Airbus customer.
      Just 15 years ago, Delta was an all-Boeing customer. They inherited Airbus aircraft in the NW merger after flying the A310 w/ the Pan Am merger and ditching that aircraft. Airbus got another chance...

      It is absolutely true that there are supply chain issues and issues with several engine models.
      But those are very different from having an aircraft model grounded AGAIN.

      and there is nothing perfect about being the largest Airbus customer.
      Just 15 years ago, Delta was an all-Boeing customer. They inherited Airbus aircraft in the NW merger after flying the A310 w/ the Pan Am merger and ditching that aircraft. Airbus got another chance and have delivered....literally and in every other sense.
      During the same period, Delta tried to renegotiate the NW 787 order and ended up w/ a bunch of 737-900ERs which is a decent airplane and follows on the 737-800. Delta also asked Boeing for a proposal and they offered the 787 but Airbus offered a package of A330NEOs and A350s and Rolls Royce offered engine maintenance rights which reduced the costs to Delta and added revenue generating potential.
      Boeing has gotten the message and has worked w/ GE to provide an offer for Delta to fly the 787 w/ GE engines which Delta could overhaul but Delta wanted and has ordered the A350-1000 which is the highest capacity and most capable new generation aircraft which is in service, far outclassing any 787.

      So, no, it isn't about perfection. It is about not jumping on every shiny object or expecting any supplier to correct years of fleet mismanagement which is what United did.
      Delta has more than enough airplanes on order, wants to add the MAX, but has limited exposure to Boeing and has enough options that they can probably work around the inevitable MAX 10 delivery delays or convert to other Boeing products if the MAX 10 ends up being cancelled.

  15. James S Guest

    Every airline executive who placed an order with Boeing after the initial Max incidents should be fired immediately

    1. Ghostrider5408 Guest

      "James S" that's a bit drastic don't you think, the optic's are there. Kirby is spot on BA needs a shake up and go back to real engineers instead of "bean counters" Boeing a once great innovator of aircraft is second or third in the world and thats a sad day for American manufacturing. The push for profits has lead to this mess Boeing took how long to get their replacement tanker in the air...

      "James S" that's a bit drastic don't you think, the optic's are there. Kirby is spot on BA needs a shake up and go back to real engineers instead of "bean counters" Boeing a once great innovator of aircraft is second or third in the world and thats a sad day for American manufacturing. The push for profits has lead to this mess Boeing took how long to get their replacement tanker in the air and that was using a decades old airframe 767, and it goes on and on.

      UA and AS should be calling AB for planes

    2. jedipenguin Guest

      Airbus should be the ONLY builder of airliners. Period.

    3. ORD_Is_My_Second_Home Member

      If it comes to that point, I will refuse to fly. Airbus should crash, burn, and disappear into the mists of history like Convair.

    4. jedipenguin Guest

      I don't trust Boeing at this point. They have issues with all of their programs.
      Here's what they need to do to win my confidence back
      1. Bring in new management
      2. Seperate Boeing Commercial from Space and Defense Divivisions and bring the HQ back to Seattle.
      3.Brand new clean sheet airplane to replace the 737-that design can't go on forever.
      I was a huge Boeing supporter-loved the 747,777, 757,...

      I don't trust Boeing at this point. They have issues with all of their programs.
      Here's what they need to do to win my confidence back
      1. Bring in new management
      2. Seperate Boeing Commercial from Space and Defense Divivisions and bring the HQ back to Seattle.
      3.Brand new clean sheet airplane to replace the 737-that design can't go on forever.
      I was a huge Boeing supporter-loved the 747,777, 757, 767. The merger with McDonnell Douglas was the beginning of the end of the Boeing that I respected. Until Boeing cleans its act up I'll fly Airbus as much as possible.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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ConcordeBoy Diamond

Why on earth does a private corporation whose fiscal responsibility is to its shareholders, and operational responsibility is to its customers... ..."need to support" any other independent private entity, particularly one who (by all objective means) is delivering a subpar and late product?

3
Tim sucks Guest

Leave it to Tim to be an unbiased loser.

2
stogieguy7 Gold

As a UA frequent flyer, I'd be delighted if they ordered more A321's and nixed the 737MAX 10 order. Frankly, Boeing has tried to do too much with a very old and somewhat limited airframe and UA seems to be planning for the MAX 10 to perform missions that it can certainly do, but not as comfortably as other models could. Now, this would be a somewhat cosmetic factor IF Boeing were manufacturing these things with the same eye to quality that they once had. But no, it's been demonstrated over and over again that today's Boeing is the equivalent of GM in 1982. Nothing bold and lackluster quality control. In this case, outsourced to please the overly pampered shareholders. Which is Boeing's #1 goal now, shareholder value. Engineering aircraft production is merely a cost of doing business to Boeing's c-suite weasels.

2
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