Boeing’s 737 Max passenger jets have caused serious problems–including two deadly crashes that grounded the planes worldwide for a year and a half. Now there’s a chance the company’s latest jet won’t make it to production, which could result in a massive loss in sales.
According to Barron’s, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun hinted in a recent interview that the 737 Max 10 may have to be dropped from production. Melius research analyst Robert Spingarn estimated that the company already has 639 orders for the Max 10 and, if canceled, those customers may turn to Airbus, which could cost Boeing billions in potential sales.
The primary issue for the Max 10, which will be one of the biggest jets in Boeing’s lineup, is commonality on the flight deck. The company wants Congress to extend a deadline for making changes to the Max 10’s flight deck. Otherwise, pilots would need separate training for the Max 10 and that could cause issues for airlines.
According to the report, Boeing officials have expressed confidence that flight deck commonality issues won’t end up derailing Max 10 production. But Calhoun told Aviation Week that his company still has to face the possibility of moving forward without its new jet.
“If you go through the things we’ve been through, the debts that we’ve had to accumulate, our ability to respond, or willingness to see things through even a world without the -10 is not that threatening,” he said.
Despite possible production issues going on in the background, Boeing said the 737 Max 10 would make its international debut this month at the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK. The jet will join Boeing’s 777-9 in the daily flying and static display, and the company said the airplanes will fly to the show on a blend of sustainable aviation fuel.
Boeing is still producing and selling older 737 Max models like the 8 and 9 but the upcoming 10 will give it a major piece for competing with Airbus. Without it, the company and its shareholders will face yet another crisis.