Paris Air Show: Boeing at MAX Level

The Boeing 737 MAX gained orders today at the Paris Air Show, but not from the variant that's being displayed at Le Bourget.



June 20, 2023

PARIS — On the second day of the 2023 Paris Air Show, Boeing was able to secure additional orders for their 737 MAX Family - which is currently the only short-haul offering the American manufacturer has for potential customers worldwide.

Of the various 737 MAX models showcased at the event, the only variants drawing serious interest from attendees are the already-certified 737-8 and 737-9. The longest 737-10 model on display has yet to receive a single order since the start of the show.

On June 20, 2023, two major companies - leasing firm Avolon and African airline Air Algérie (AH) - placed orders for the most popular aircraft family from Boeing.

Avolon has enlarged its 737 MAX order book from 36 to 76 aircraft today at the Paris Air Show. Photo: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways

The 737-8 Remains the Popular Choice

The first Boeing 737 MAX version to be launched, flown, certified, and delivered to customers was the standard-sized 737-8. It is the re-engined version of the 737-800 and can carry around 180 seats in a typical configuration while reducing fuel consumption by a full 20% compared to its predecessor.

n i This brings the total number of Boeing 737-8 aircraft to 76, which can be offered to customer airlines for long-term leasing agreements.

Andy Cronin, Avolon, CEO, said, "The transitioning of the global fleet to more fuel-efficient new-technology aircraft is a priority for our industry, and we are looking to play a leading role by supporting airlines in achieving their sustainability objectives. We are confident in the long-term demand from our customers for the 737 MAX, and this order extends our delivery pipeline out to 2030."

Boeing and Air Algérie today confirmed an order for eight fuel-efficient 737-9 jets at the Paris Air Show. Photo: Boeing

Algeria Continues with its Fleet Renewal

Air Algérie (AH), the national flag carrier, has recently received approval from the Algerian government to modernize its fleet significantly. This includes the addition of new-generation aircraft in both the short-haul and long-haul markets. Following significant orders placed with Airbus, the carrier has announced that it will continue to rely heavily on Boeing for its narrow-body fleet.

Air Algérie plans to acquire eight Boeing 737-9 airplanes, which are designed to carry approximately 190 passengers - ten more than the 737-8 model. Incorporation of this new-generation airframe will enable the airline to carry more passengers while reducing operating costs, providing a more cost-effective solution, and offering competitive prices across the North African market.

Yacine Benslimane, general manager of AH, said, "This order will contribute to the development of the Air Algérie fleet. This acquisition is part of Air Algérie's fleet extension strategy through the purchase of new aircraft."

Apart from the Boeing 737 MAX order, AH will as well invest in the future incorporation of two 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters to expand its cargo network. It is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that may become definitive in the coming months.

The 737-10 is struggling to gain recognition at the show due to its constant delays in certification and deliveries. Photo: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways

The 737-10 Lacks Attention at Le Bourget

The Boeing 737-10 is the longest aircraft in the entire 737 MAX series. The manufacturer designed this variant to increase capacity and provide a completely new longer version that wasn't present in previous generations. For example, the "Next Generation" 737 series only extended to the 900 variant.

During the Paris Air Show, Boeing flew a Boeing 737-10 demonstrator aircraft, and Airways had the chance to visit the plane and learn about the project's commercial capabilities. Additionally, they interviewed the chief test pilot of the 737 MAX flight test team.

Although Boeing has relentlessly promoted the longest MAX aircraft, they're struggling to find new customers for it, and they haven't announced any further orders since the Ryanair (FR) deal for 300 units on May 9, 2023.

Part of the blame can surely be directed toward the difficulties being faced by the 737-10 during its certification process. Boeing has acknowledged that deliveries will be delayed and that the 737-7 variant may eventually receive certification before the 737-10.

Comparison between the size of a Boeing worker with the GE9X engine of the 777-9, showcased at the Paris Air Show. Photo: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways

Boeing at the Paris Air Show

Boeing is one of the primary manufacturers present at the 2023 Paris Air Show. As with any other major aviation conference worldwide, the most talked-about topic among the public, press, and professional attendees is the competition among the four giant manufacturers.

This year, Boeing's highlighted aircraft at the Salon Du Bourget is the longest Boeing 737-10 and the famous Boeing 777-9, with both still awaiting certification in the coming years.

Additionally, as part of the upcoming Riyadh Air massive project, a specially painted Boeing 787 Dreamliner is on display at Paris-Le Bourget (LBG) for the show.

Featured image: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways