Airline Places Big 737 Max Order

Boeing wants federal certification before rules in response to crashes kick in
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 18, 2022 5:21 PM CDT
Delta Orders 100 737 Max Jets
A Boeing employee works on the engine of a 737 MAX on the final assembly line at Boeing's Renton plant in Renton, Wash., last month.   (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times via AP, Pool)

Delta is ordering 100 737 Max 10 airplanes, the largest of the line produced by Boeing, potentially giving the manufacturer momentum after a rollout of its most advanced aircraft that included two fatal crashes. Delta has an option to purchase 30 more of the aircraft as the airline looks to keep up with surging travel demand. Boeing has struggled to keep up with its European rival Airbus after a pair of 737 Max aircraft crashed in a short span of time, killing 346 passengers and crew members. Shares of Boeing Co. rose 3% and Delta Air Lines Inc., based in Atlanta, gained 5% in early trading, the AP reports.

Airlines are aggressively trying to reduce costs, and the 737 Max can help them do that. Delta Air Lines said Monday that the airplanes, which can seat up to 230 people, will reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 20% to 30% compared with the planes it will replace. However, the Max 10 has not been certified by federal regulators. Boeing is rushing to get that approval before a year-end deadline, when new standards enacted after two crashes of Max jets would require that the planes have a cockpit-alert system that warns pilots about certain malfunctions on the plane. Boeing is also lobbying Congress for an exemption to the standard, according to published reports.

Financial terms of the order were not disclosed. The plane lists for $134.9 million, according to Boeing's website, but airlines routinely receive deep discounts. Last week Delta reported that it earned $735 million in the second quarter as packed planes and higher fares boosted revenue close to pre-pandemic levels. But rising fuel prices and the cost of canceling more than 4,000 flights in May and June were a drag. The deal, announced at the Farnborough International Air Show near London, provides a boost for Boeing. The manufacturer announced last week that it delivered 51 passenger and cargo planes in June, its best month for deliveries in more than three years. Of those deliveries, 43 were for its 737 Max airliners.

(More Delta Air Lines stories.)

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