Ryanair Renames The 737 MAX

Filed Under: Other Airlines

The Boeing 737 MAX has been grounded for months, with no end in sight to the grounding, given that they keep finding problems with the plane.

Even once the plane is fixed and certified by the FAA, there will be a lot of work required to get the plane back in the skies smoothly. For one, global regulators beyond the FAA will need to be convinced that the plane is safe. Beyond that, Boeing and airlines will have their work cut out for them convincing people that they should be comfortable flying the plane.

For quite a while there has been talk about Boeing possibly rebranding the 737 MAX, and it’s something that Trump even Tweeted about back in April.

It’s clear that a Boeing 737 MAX rebranding is underway, and this is something that was really started back when IAG signed a letter of intent to order 200 Boeing 737 MAXs. In IAG’s press release about the order, nowhere did they mention the term “MAX.”

Rather than referring to the planes as the 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 10, they referred to them as the 737-8 and 737-10. I would have to imagine that this was something that they discussed with Boeing.

Well, for the first time ever a 737 MAX has been produced with different branding. Ryanair has 135 Boeing 737 MAX 200s on order. Five of these planes have already been produced, though due to the grounding they’re not flying.

For those of you not familiar with the 737 MAX 200, it’s essentially a denser version of the 737 MAX 8. What’s interesting is how they’re painting these planes.

The nose of the fourth plane built says “737 MAX.” Meanwhile the nose of the fifth plane built says “737-8200.” So they’re adopting the “737-8”  branding, but are adding “200” to it to differentiate it from the other 737-8s.

As before, this isn’t any surprise. This rebranding is a very real thing, and now for the first time we’re seeing that “live” on an airplane. I imagine eventually this will be the case across the board, though Boeing won’t formally rebrand until the plane is flying again.

  1. I’ve worked in aviation for over 30 years before I retired in 2017. Rebrand that aircraft however you want but I’ll not fly on one. This is the first aircraft that scares me.

  2. Again there is no order from IAG for the MAX. There is a letter of intent. They are not the same thing.

    The best you could describe it as is a ‘possible order’. And even then that would be a charitable description.

    But a name change does not eliminate the issues with the plane

    As you Americans say – You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig

  3. @Retired ATLATC, I too spent 30 years in the aviation business and like you, will not fly on one of these planes.

  4. Airlines can talk about rebranding all they want. The flying public – many of them – doesn’t get the nuance, and I wonder what damage has been done to the overall “737” brand.

    Example: Flying on a Delta 738 right after the second MAX crash, and the woman next to me pulled the safety card out to review it, and saw it said 737. She flipped out. Rang her call button, and when the FA came over, she said she didn’t want to fly on a 737 because of the crashes. The FA said that it wasn’t the same type of plane, and that Delta didn’t eve have any MAX aircraft. The woman just left saying “But it’s a 737, but it’s a 737.” She did end up staying on the plane, but she wasn’t happy about it.

    This is gonna be messy for airlines and Boeing.

  5. Has happened before in Brazil, when TAM had a bunch of accidents (with many fatalities) in quick sequence. People were afraid of the Fokker 100. Hence OceanAir never mentioned the name Fokker, advertising the plane as MK28.
    Mr Trump may not be everyone’s favorite, but he sure knows marketing like few other people on earth.

  6. @Neil S
    I was chatting with a customer close to the airport when a delta a320 flew over us. He looked at the plane and complained about the damn max flying over his head all day long.
    But I believe that like just after Sept 11, fear goes away quickly when one needs to go to Vegas or Orlando for a weekend. It might even become a conversation topic of how one flew the max and survived.

  7. I was booking an AA award ticket last night and noted that the aircraft on one leg was identified only by “737”. IIRC, designations had been more explicit previously.

    We will not fly on the 737 MAX, no matter how much lipstick is put on that death pig.

  8. Don’t fix the issues and just rebrand it – just like Trump has “rebranded” himself – but ultimately, you can’t polish a poop.

  9. Smart move and probably 95% of flyers will never know or understand they are on a Max. I will know though and never set foot on one.

  10. 737-DB perhaps? For Dive Bomber. Friend of mine who flies the 737-800 for a domestic airline who is in the process of upgrading their fleet to the Max is busy with his A320 training. Got himself a new job as he won’t fly the Max. Imagine, a 737 pilot who rather changes jobs than transition to the Max.

  11. I worked in aerospace for 30+ years; mostly on the development of advanced combat aircraft.

    We never used foreign s/w engineers!

    Instead, we used engineers with the appropriate Certs and US Security Clearances.

    I’ve always been leery of so-called “commercial quality standards”!

  12. Lucky, here in Brazil, GOL is rebranding their 737 MAX 8 as well. The planes came from Renton wirh a huge ” BOEING 737 MAX 8 – INTELLIGENCE TO GO FURTHER” applied to the nose, which was replaced with simple and discreet “Boeing 737-8” titles, alligned with the rest of the fleet.

  13. They can’t brand it 737-8 and this will be confusing with the next generation which has been on sale since 1993. Then they need to rename it 7378M for example. Each airline can’t have a different name for the aircraft it operates
    As was mentioned above, your average passenger hasn’t a clue
    They often claim an aircraft is really old because the IFE isn’t updated
    They can’t tell the difference between an a320 and Boeing 737

  14. When this whole problem with the MAX was exposed following the two tragedies, I figured they’d do a software fix and additional training and things would get back to normal. But there has been a continual cascade of new problems that have been uncovered and it now seems unlikely the MAX will ever be able to regain the flying public’s trust even with new branding and the passage of time. If I were running an airline I’d be looking to unload current MAX inventory and cancel any future orders. Even if they get all the problems fixed and it’s deemed the safest aircraft in the sky, public trust is trashed.

  15. If Boeing is becoming deceptive regarding the identification of its aircraft, I will simply avoid all airlines flying all Boeing products.

  16. In my opinion, the following are the most likely consumer outcomes:

    1- folks will fly the MAX versions re-branded or not, and why is this? Leisure flyers choose flights based on price and then convenience. They rarely know how to find the specific aircraft for the flight unless they’re truly interested in aviation.

    2- to forget is human. How many remember the Ford Exploder (Explorer) scandal mid-late 90’s? If you do, what was the reason for the issue? The recent Jeep “Death Wobble”? There are many more examples that hold this truth to be self-evident.

    3- folks that fly for business. Do you really have the option of deciding what aircraft you’ll be on if your company is paying? I know for many, this is not the case as you usually must use the corp. travel agency (World Travel inc. etc). You’re most likely required to use the airline that is the lowest cost, unless you’re responsible for the arrangements and must await reimbursement. I don’t believe any corporation that is footing the bill will allow fear of the specific aircraft as justification for non-compliance.

    4- all talk, no action. How many people made good on their sworn oath, “If so and so is voted into office, I’m moving out of the United States”?

    People lose their foolish little heads during times of crisis, making large statements that they really cannot sustain. What has occurred with the MAX line from Boeing is tragic and should not have occurred.

    While I may sound cynical to some, I’m only pointing what is true based on human behavior.

  17. @turbobrick09
    I know alot of people who have never moved when they said they will move on November 10 2016. I even offered to paid for tickets and moving costs

  18. Let’s be honest – when people either have an option to rebook 2-5 days out or reluctantly board the MAX or get a refund, they are going to choose to reluctantly board the MAX.

    Give it 1 month of return to air service and this will all blow over.

  19. I choose where I spend my money and I won’t be flying the Max any time no matter how they rebrand it. Anything that’s a 737 after the 700, 800 and 900 is going to be a MAX no matter how much they polish the turd which is flawed at the design stage.

    In Europe that’s easy of course as I won’t either fly Ryanair and the only airline I do use that is flying it is LOT and where LOT’s concerned there’s always a choice of another airline. I won’t even use LOT on routes where they use 737s because substitution can occur.

  20. “Boeing” is one of the strongest brands in the world. Its management would be absolutely stupid to take a chance on diminishing the value of the brand any further by pulling a dishonest re-branding stunt with MAX or allowing the likes of Ryanair to do so with their trademarks. Ryanair may own the metal it buys but they do not own the right to manipulate to the 737 series or any other Boeing trademarks, copyrights ot IP. These stunts always come out and turn out badly..

  21. According to Flight Global, “While several media reports are claiming that Ryanair has rebranded the Boeing 737 Max, in the aftermath of the re-engined type’s grounding, the chosen ‘737-8200’ designation is not new.

    But this name, contrary to a number of reports in the media, is not a new designation for the aircraft, and actually predates both the Max grounding and the two fatal accidents which led to the type’s suspension from operations.

    The European Union Aviation Safety Agency had been referring to the 737-8200 in documents such as its 2015 annual activity report, published in June 2016, almost a year before the first ever 737 Max delivery.

    This designation has frequently been included in US federal regulatory filings from Boeing and the US FAA since at least early 2017.”

  22. While Boeing may hope to just “get things back to normal” they ought to think about what happens if there is another similar crash after they persuade enough people to allow the aircraft to fly again.
    There is a risk that the entire 737 brand will be ruined.
    So it would make sense to change 737MAX to something like 7C7.

    Admittedly, that would prompt regulators to require top-to-bottom registration checks, but it sounds as though:
    a) that would be appropriate
    b) the current route is close to that anyway.

  23. Dear OneMileAtATime

    Let’s face it. Boeing produced a shitty product which is called as 737-Max. A death machine. It’s time that people accept it. Now IAG has just given a LETTER OF INTEREST. It just means we are interested to buy 200 of 737-800s and 737-Max (Combined together). They haven’t purchased it. They are also with the same discussion with EU. Again, IAG is smart enough to make a decision towards Airbus if these death machines are grounded till late 2020.

    So please don’t say IAG has purchased or procured. It’s just a LETTER OF INTEREST. It’s like me going to Tesla office and saying I want to buy a Tesla 😀 :D. Doesn’t mean I will buy one! 😛

  24. I think 737-7000, 8000, 9000 and 10000 will be suitable rebrands for the jet. The MAX 8 200 can become 8200.

  25. If it quacks like a MAX and flies like a MAX then it’s a MAX no wonder what you call it.

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