From the 19th until the 25th of June, the Paris Air Show is hosted at Le Bourget. Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Airbus (OTCPK:EADSF) (OTCPK:EADSY) are both expected to reveal major orders and new at this air show. One of the product launches that was expected was the launch of the Boeing 737 MAX 10 and it indeed did happen on day 1 of the Paris Air Show. In this article, I will have a look at how Boeing’s 737 MAX family looks now and who the customers for the Boeing 737 MAX 10 are and are likely to be.
The Boeing 737 MAX 10 has been brought to the market to effectively compete with the Airbus A321neo, something the Boeing 737-900(ER) and Boeing 737 MAX 9 could never do. The Boeing 737 MAX 10 carries 188 passengers in two-class configuration with a range capability of 3,215nm with one auxiliary fuel tank installed. To accommodate these 188 passengers, the fuselage has been lengthened by 66 inches and the aircraft’s landing gear design has been changed but likely without any major weight penalty. In one-class configuration, the Boeing 737 MAX 10 carries 230 passengers.
The Boeing 737 MAX 10 shares the same wingspan and CFM LEAP 1B with its MAX family members. Compared to the Boeing 737 MAX 9, the Boeing 737 MAX 10 seats 10 more passengers in each configuration, for which its range reduces by 300 nautical miles.
Boeing 737 MAX family reshape
Figure 1: New seat placement Boeing 737 MAX family (Source: www.aeroanalysis.net)
In an article "The Sales Success Of The Boeing 737 MAX 10", I already mentioned that while the Boeing 737 concept is decades old by now, Boeing is still tweaking the aircraft to meet the demands of customers.
The Boeing 737 MAX 7 fuselage was already changed last year, closing the gap with the Boeing 737 MAX 7 and moving away from seat capacities at which Boeing can no longer compete on efficiency. The Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 placement has remained unchanged since the MAX 8 is at a sweet spot and the MAX 9 has reached its limit. The MAX 10 now gives customers the possibility to increase the capacity by another 10 revenue-generating seats, which adds several thousand seats of additional capacity compared to the MAX 9.
Boeing 737 MAX 10 versus Airbus A321neo
Compared to the Airbus A321neo without Space-Flex, the Boeing 737 MAX 10 will have three more seats, while its range will fall short by roughly 300 nm. If we add the auxiliary tanks for the Airbus A321neo, that range differential increases. Boeing claims the Boeing 737 MAX 10 will be 5% more efficient than its nearest competitor, which would be the Airbus A321neo.
John Leahy from Airbus has said the Airbus A321neo would have a range capability that exceeds that of the MAX 10 by 1,000 nautical miles while its trip costs would be 10% lower.
The Boeing 737 MAX 10 has launched with over 240 orders and commitments, most of which will likely be revealed during the airshow. Boeing has not changed the pricing table on its website to include the Boeing 737 MAX 10, but from a deal between BOC Aviation (OTC:BCCVY) and Boeing, we already know the Boeing 737 MAX 10 will have a catalog value of $125 million, $5.8 million higher than the Boeing 737 MAX 9 price but $2 million lower compared to the A321neo.
Out of the 240 commitments, which are valued at $30B, 94 commitments are already unveiled as shown in the table below:
What is important to note is that from the commitments Boeing received, so far there are no new firm orders for the MAX 10 aircraft. Most of the firm orders for the Boeing 737 MAX 10 so far have come from conversion of existing orders while most of the new orders are signed as MoU, which means that a firm deal will follow later. Roughly 60% percent of the revealed commitments are a memorandum of understanding.
I expect that more customers will be unveiled on the Paris Air Show. While Boeing and Airbus, for obvious reasons do not agree on the economics of the Boeing 737 MAX 10 versus the Airbus A321neo, the fact that Boeing does have somewhat of a reply to the Airbus A321neo can only benefit Boeing. Airbus so far has received 1,416 orders for the A321neo while Boeing accumulated 240 orders and commitments for the MAX 10.
I am expecting that with a lower pricing for the MAX 10, airlines will not be solely considering the Airbus A321neo any longer and the Boeing 737 MAX family has strengthened as a whole. Given the importance of the Boeing 737 to Boeing’s business, the Boeing 737 MAX 10 is a welcome addition to the MAX family, and I am expecting more airlines to convert and expand orders for the MAX 10.
Winning Airbus-loyal customers for the MAX 10 will be hard or even close to impossible, but the airplane should do its job preventing losing Boeing loyal customers to Airbus.
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Disclosure: I am/we are long BA.
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