Last week, Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) unveiled the 737 MAX 9 in front of thousands of its employees. The 737 MAX 9 is the second member of the company’s best-selling 737 MAX family. It has a range of more than 4,000 miles and a space for 220 passengers. However, a report from Business Insider suggests that the 737 MAX 9 is not selling well.
According to the report, despite all of its capabilities, the MAX 9 has become a big headache for Boeing commercial airplanes. The MAX 9 is being outsold by the Airbus A321neo.
The report said that only a small percentage of the 3,621 new orders have been for the MAX 9. The report added that the A321neo, with 1,384 orders, is out-selling the MAX9 at a rate of five planes to one.
“We pretty much own the middle-of-the-market now with the A321neo as a replacement for the Boeing 757-200,” Airbus Americas Chairman Allan McArtor told Business Insider.
Boeing 737 MAX 9
On March 7, Boeing unveiled the 737 MAX 9, which is the second member of the 737 MAX brand.
The company said that the MAX 9 will start flight testing in the coming weeks.
“The 737 MAX team continues to do a fantastic job getting us to these important milestones right on schedule,” Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program, said in a statement last week. “Our primary focus is delivering an aircraft that has the legendary reliability our 737 customers depend on, plus the optimized flexibility and range capability they desire.”
The 737 MAX 9 is scheduled to enter service in 2018. The company plans to start the deliveries of the 737 MAX 8 to customers in the second quarter of 2017.
Boeing said that the 737 MAX airplanes are designed to offer customers “exceptional performance, flexibility, and efficiency, with lower per-seat costs and an extended range that will open up new destinations in the single-aisle market.”
The company intends to launch the smaller MAX 7 and higher-capacity MAX 200 in the coming years.
Boeing said that the 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in the company’s history, accumulating more than 3,600 orders to date from 83 customers worldwide.
Airlines Looking for True Replacement for Boeing 757-200
According to the report, airlines need a true replacement for aging Boeing 757-200 fleets.
Airbus offers the extended-range variant of the A321neo, dubbed the LR. This aircraft has a range of about 4,600 miles and has reportedly become popular with airlines.
Boeing is also planning to launch a larger model called the 737 MAX 10X to match the A321neo’s capacity while offering greater range at lower costs. The MAX 10X is expected to arrive by 2020.
However, the report suggests that neither the A321neo nor the 737MAX 10X is a true replacement for the underappreciated Boeing 757-200.
“They simply can’t offer the same range, capacity, and performance of the old plane that went out of production in 2004,” according to Business Insider.