United Eyes Up Alternatives To Boeing 737 MAX 10

United Mulls Alternatives to Boeing 737 MAX 10: Airbus Benefits?
Photo Credit: Airbus.

With the news from United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby that he would consider alternatives to the Boeing 737 MAX 10, we ask the following: Does Airbus stand to benefit from this?

The words from Kirby were a reflection on the incident involving Alaska Airlines flight AS1282 and door plugs, of which the airline themselves have found the same faults on their Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

Words from Scott Kirby on Different Options…

United Mulls Alternatives to Boeing 737 MAX 10: Airbus Benefits?
Photo Credit: Boeing.

Speaking this week on CNBC, the airline CEO said that United would consider alternatives to a newer version of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the future.

He said the following when showcasing the airline’s financial results:

“I think the Max 9 grounding is probably the straw that broke the camel’s back for us”.

“We’re going to at least build a plan that doesn’t have the Max 10 in it.”

United Airlines has around 100 Boeing 737 MAX 10s on order, and could be in jeopardy following the incidents involving Alaska Airlines flight AS1282.

Does Airbus Stand to Benefit from These Words?

United Mulls Alternatives to Boeing 737 MAX 10: Airbus Benefits?
Photo Credit: Airbus.


United Airlines currently has around 180 aircraft on order with Airbus for 130 A321neos and 50 A321XLR aircraft already, following a top-up order made back in October.

Whilst it may be the case that it is a lot of aircraft already on order, you have to think of the scenario in which the U.S carrier goes as far as cancelling orders for it’s Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft.

The airline should have taken delivery of them from 2020, but regulatory delays have hindered it’s entry-to-service.

With their recent top-up order from October, scrapping the 737 MAX 10 part of the order would bring their total deliveries from over 800 to over 700, offering a gap to be exploited.

This, of course, could get Airbus back to the negotiating table with United Airlines to increase the orderbook even further from the 180 in total already ordered.

Of course, at this stage, it is very early to call whether this would indeed happen, as CEO Scott Kirby does endorse Boeing, but maybe not just it’s leadership at the moment.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes Stan Deal said the following on January 23, apologising to their customers:

“We have let down our airline customers and are deeply sorry for the significant disruption to them, their employees and their passengers.”

“We are taking action on a comprehensive plan to bring these airplanes safely back to service and to improve our quality and delivery performance.”

“We will follow the lead of the FAA and support our customers every step of the way.”

But either way, it is clear that this could provide an opportunity for the European planemaker to capitalise on even more market share than they have acquired in the last few years following the fallout of the Boeing 737 MAX crisis.


Photo Credit: Airbus.

It remains clear that the chain of events unfolding which involve the Boeing 737 MAX 9 crisis is slowly but surely beginning to develop into a long-term problem in the perspective of airlines.

As mentioned, it is too early to call what route the United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby will take in regards to a potential replacement to the MAX 10 order, but it’s going to create a very interesting landscape moving forward.

Looking ahead, all eyes will be on what additional developments will come from the investigations into the 737 MAX 9 ordeal, but Boeing needs to keep it’s customers on side during this process.

Whatever happens, it is definitely going to be a key theme in how 2024 will go for the American planemaker, and whether they can keep their customers on side.

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By James Field - Editor in Chief 5 Min Read
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