At the Paris Air Show Monday, Boeing (BA - Free Report) announced the launch of the 737 Max 10, a new model that will compete with the Airbus Group's (EADSY - Free Report) extremely popular narrow-body passenger jet, the A321neo.
The Max 10 is the fifth member of Boeing’s single-aisle aircraft series and the third of the Max family. The first member, the Max 8, began flying commercially last month with the Malaysian company Malindo Air. The Max 9 will make its debut at the Paris Air Show later this week and will be delivered to airlines in 2018. However, the A321neo has a larger capacity and, because of this, has been outselling the 737 Max 9.
In response, Boeing has designed the 737 Max 10 to be larger than its previous model in order to increase passenger capacity. The 737 Max 10 is five-and-a-half feet longer than the Max 9, raising its capacity from about 178 to between 190 and 230 passengers.
So far the decision has paid off. Boeing stated that later this week it will reveal orders for more than 240 737 Max 10 jets from at least 10 customers. In comparison, Airbus only received 73 orders through the end of May this year. With this large amount of orders in place, Boeing will be able to have the Max 10 ready for airlines in 2020.
This announcement comes at the same time that Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg stated his belief that hypersonic jets could be used for commercial flights in the near future. “I think in the next decade or two you’re going to see them become a reality,” Muilenburg said.
Hypersonic jets would fly up to Mach 5, or 3,800 mph, potentially cutting hours off of travel time. Travelers could fly from New York to Shanghai in 2 hours instead of 15, for example.
However, Boeing still needs to prove that enough people are willing to pay the high cost of hypersonic flights in order to make production profitable. “Still work to do on closing the business case to make sense for our customers,” Muilenburg said. “But we see future innovations where you could connect around the world in about two hours.”
The Paris Air Show will run from Monday, June 19th, to Sunday, June 25th.
Shares of Boeing climbed higher following today’s news, eventually hitting a new 52-week high of $199.47 in Monday morning trading.
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