US-based carrier Delta airlines announced a massive order for one-hundred Boeing 737 Max 10 aircraft yesterday on the opening day of the 2022 Farnborough Airshow. The news was rumored to happen after Delta CEO Ed Bastian hinted at a possible agreement with Boeing in a recent interview. This order will be beneficial to both Delta’s narrow-body fleet, as well as Boeing’s 737 Max program.
Delta Airlines has been working to expand and modernize its narrow-body fleet ever since the dramatic increases in travel demand as a result of a rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. Just this year, Delta took delivery of its first Airbus A321neo, a highly fuel-efficient, narrow-body aircraft from the Airbus’ A320neo series. Ironically, the A321neo is the competitor to the Boeing 737 Max 10.
Delta Airlines also made a purchase for 12 more Airbus A220 planes, another fuel-efficient narrow body aircraft type, on the second day of the 2022 Farnborough Airshow. With the imminent influx of these newer, mid-range aircraft, Delta will most likely phase out its current narrow-body fleet, which consists of numerous older models of A320s and 737s, in the coming years.
Delta will begin taking delivery of the 737 Max 10 aircraft in 2025, and the process will continue into 2029.
Boeing 737 MAX 10
The Boeing 737 Max 10 is the largest variant of the infamous 737 Max series. The aircraft is still in development and has not gained approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) yet. Boeing is trying to get the aircraft approved before December of 2022, before new aircraft regulations that have been passed by Congress become effective.
Prior to Delta’s commitment to the 737 Max 10, Boeing’s CEO had actually considered abandoning the Max 10 program due to its lack of traction and orders. Delta’s order for the plane alleviates some doubts and uncertainty for the Max 10 and allows the program to continue.
From the terms of the order, Delta has the option to purchase an additional 30 737 Max 10 aircraft. Additionally, due to the unapproved status of the 737 Max 10, there are protection plans in place for Delta to switch to another, smaller variation of the 737 Max series in case the program is delayed.
Delta’s purchase of 100 737 Max 10 planes also is the airline’s first major Boeing order in over a decade. This is a significant move for the airline due to its shift to mostly Airbus aircraft in the past few years. Delta had retired or planned on retiring several of its Boeing aircraft types, including the 777, 737-700, 717, and 767-300, while it had simultaneously coordinated several orders with Airbus in the last couple of years. Overall, Delta’s order is valued at $13.5 billion, but the airline did not reveal how much their deal actually was.
Delta’s news of this 737 Max 10 agreement is an impressive way to kick things off for the 2022 Farnborough Airshow. The order has allowed for less concern about the success of the Max 10 program and will gradually help Delta in making its future narrow-body fleet more efficient.
Cover Image: The Points Guy