Monday, June 19, 2017

Boeing launches largest MAX variant; lessors & airlines sign up

Lessor GECAS was among the first to sign up for the new Boeing 737 MAX 10, launched at the Paris Air Show.

Boeing announced the launch of the 737 MAX 10, the largest of the four-aircraft MAX range, on the opening day of the Paris Air Show Monday. The manufacturer said it has more than 240 orders and commitments from 10 customers for the narrowbody and began with a string of signings at the show.

Among those that signed agreements for the MAX 10 Monday were lessors BOC Aviation, GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), CDB Aviation and Tibet Financial Leasing, as well as European operator TUI Group, and Indian and Indonesian low-cost carriers SpiceJet and Lion Air Group.

“Our customers told us to build it bigger … and that’s exactly what we’re bringing to the market,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Kevin McAllister said.

He said that the company already had more than 240 orders and commitments from 10 customers for the new type, with these planned to be announced throughout the show.

The MAX 10 will be powered by the CFM International LEAP-1B, which is the sole-source engine for all MAXs. The aircraft will be capable of seating up to 230 passengers, with Boeing claiming a 5% seat-mile cost and trip cost advantage over its nearest competitor, the Airbus A321neo. Boeing defined some of the proposed modifications to the MAX 10—then designated the10X—in January.

“Adding the 737 MAX 10 gives our customers the most flexibility in the market, providing their fleets the range capability, fuel efficiency and unsurpassed reliability that the 737 MAX family is widely known for.” Boeing said. The MAX 10 will have a range of 3,215nm with one auxiliary fuel tank.

The MAX 10 has a 66-inch fuselage stretch compared to the MAX 9, together with a levered main undercarriage. Other alterations to earlier versions include a variable exit limit rating mid-exit door, a lighter, flat aft pressure bulkhead and a modified wing for low-speed drag reduction.

The BOC Aviation agreement is valued at approximately $1.25 billion at list prices and will be posted to the Boeing orders and deliveries website once finalized.

Singapore-based BOC has committed to more than 300 Boeing aircraft since its establishment. It took delivery of its 200th Boeing aircraft in March 2017 and has an additional 74 737 MAXs on order.

“BOC Aviation and Boeing have been partners for more than 20 years, providing the very best airplanes to their customers around the world and the 737 MAX 10, with its lowest seat costs of any single-aisle airplane, will continue this tradition," Boeing Commercial Airplanes SVP, global sales and marketing, Ihssane Mounir, said.

GECAS, meanwhile, announced an order for 20 737 MAX 10s at show, converting 20 of its current MAX orders to the larger MAX 10.

"This 737 MAX 10 order further enhances our fleet with the newest technology, offering our customers commonality along with increased range and available seating," GECAS president and CEO Alec Burger said.

GECAS has 170 MAXs on order, the largest of any aircraft leasing company.

CDB Aviation Lease Finance agreed to buy 10 737 MAX 10s.

China’s Tibet Financial Leasing committed to 20 MAX aircraft, including 737 MAX 10 and MAX 8s, valued at $2.5 billion at current list prices.

TUI Group announced it would acquire 18 MAX 10s. TUI already had 70 unfilled orders for the 737 MAX and will convert 18 of those existing orders to the 737 MAX 10.

And India’s SpiceJet signed an MOU for 40 737 MAX airplanes, valued at $4.7 billion at list prices, which includes 20 new orders for MAX 10s and conversions of 20 MAX 8s airplanes from its existing order to MAX 10s. Indonesia's Lion Air Group announced a commitment for 50 MAX 10s valued at approximately $6.24 billion at list prices. Lion Air is the launch customer for the MAX 9.

Lion Air Group signed an MOU for 50 MAX 10s. The Lion Air Group, which consists of several carriers in the region including Malaysia-based Malindo Air, is already one of the world’s largest Boeing 737NG operators and has previously ordered 201 MAXs.

(Alan Dron - ATWOnline News)

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