I scanned the web and found no indication that this order for 25 MAX's is for MAX-8, or MAX-9 models. There is also that order for 100 MAX-10's on the books that is looking shaky given the slowdown in certification of that type. Is it possible this order (presumably for MAX-9's) is a conversion of part of the MAX-10 order? I guess we will know more soon.
It’s possible that UA has converted from Max 10s to smaller variants, but this order for 25 is in addition to all the Maxes they have on order. Including the new order for 25 they have 188 Maxes due from 2021 onwards (several of those 188 have been delivered in the past two months), plus the Maxes they received in December and had in fleet.
I'm glad UA is showing confidence in the B737 MAX series. It makes sense to order more to turn over their aging fleet of the NG's. By 2025 their narrow body fleet should consist of mostly MAX's.
I’m wondering if UA really needs the Max-8. Remember we took delivery of several 737-800SFP a few years ago for markets such as SJO, LIR, GUA, etc. over that last few years, airlines were moving towards larger narrowbody fleets. Could UA just stick with the Max-9 / 10 ?
The B737-800SFP was Boeing's way to win the GOL order back in the mid-00's. They needed the enhancements to operate B738's safely from Santos Du Mont and its 4,300 ft. runways. I did not know UA had this variant too. Thanks for pointing that out.
Unless UA agrees to pick up some of Boeing's B38M white tails, you may be right that their MAX fleet going forward will probably consist of 9's & 10's. However, deliveries of the B737-10's has been pushed out to 2023.
It was mentioned by RobK in the 737MAX production/delivery thread that there are already 15 max-8 with LN's assigned to UA. First one would be 8035 he said, so I expect it would be produced this year. So these can't come from the new order of 25, but must be conversions from UA's existing order. I don't know how UA has reshuffled their existing order, but I wouldn't be surprised if the MAX-8's are conversions from their MAX-10's.
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