Thousands of Boeing employees gathered in Renton, Washington on the 22nd of November to watch the largest 737 variant, the 737 MAX 10, be unveiled.
In light of the global 737 MAX grounding, that has been in effect since March, the unveiling was limited to Boeing employees with little fanfare, just like their 777X rollout.
“Today is not just about a new airplane. It’s about the people who design, build and support it. This team’s relentless focus on safety and quality shows the commitment we have to our airline customers and every person who flies on a Boeing airplane.”Mark Jenks, vice president and general manager of the 737 program
With the rollout now complete, Boeing can launch their 737 MAX 10 ground and flight test campaign; which will likely benefit from a lot of flight test data gathered by other 737 MAX variants during testing.
“I’m honoured to take this airplane on its first flight and show the world what you’ve put your heart and soul into”737 Chief Pilot Jennifer Henderson told the employee crowd.
Seating up to 230 passengers in a single class layout and having the ability to fly 3,300 nautical miles, the 737 MAX 10 is designed to compete with the Airbus A321neo.
Analysts suggest the aircraft is perfect for airlines wanting a simple extension to their 737 fleets for higher capacity routes, albeit with less flexibility and modification potential than the A321neo. Boeing says the 737 MAX 10 has the lowest seat-mile cost of any single-aisle aircraft ever produced.
United Airlines is the largest customer for the type, with an order for 100 aircraft. Flydubai, Lion Air and VietJet are also high on the list with greater than 50 on order each.
Boeing has over 550 orders and commitments for the 737 MAX 10, from over 20 customers around the world.
It remains unclear when the 737 MAX will be able to resume commercial operations, however Boeing is aiming for the beginning of 2020.