Delta placing an order for 100 new airplanes, as travel demand surges in the wake of pandemic restrictions.
The Boeing 737 Max 10 is Boeing’s largest aircraft, with some notoriety after two of them crashed in 2018 and 2019. Both crashes were due to faulty software, and Boeing grounded the entire line to allow the issue to be investigated, retooled, and ruled out. But since then, Airbus, Boeing’s primary rival, has pulled slightly ahead in the race for market share.
Delta placing this order for one hundred of the 737 Max 10 planes is a huge boon to Boeing, and the airline is keeping an option open to order 30 more. The list price for these planes is $134.9 million each, but the financial terms of the order aren’t public. Airlines typically receive steep discounts.
Delta Airlines said in a statement on Monday that the new planes will replace smaller, older, less efficient aircraft, reducing fuel consumption and emissions per passenger by between 20 and 30 percent. Each plane will seat 182 people.
There’s just one big hitch in the deal yet: the Max 10 is not certified by federal regulators, their certification having been withdrawn during the investigation after the crashes. Boeing is pushing hard to get that certification before standards tighten at the end of this year.
Delta and several other airlines have struggled to keep up with demand in the last year, with staffing shortages – both aboard and in the FAA-controlled traffic towers – delaying or grounding hundreds of flights on critically busy weekends. New planes won’t resolve those shortages, but they do indicate that despite all those cancellations, Delta feels flush with cash.
Delta operates more than 850 aircraft, more than half of them Boeing planes. The two companies have worked together for decades, and Delta’s purchase has been a statement of faith that has boosted stock prices for both companies.
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