- Boeing quietly unveiled a new version of its troubled 737 Max aircraft on Friday, even as the plane remains grounded globally after two deadly crashes.
- At a low-key ceremony at its headquarters in Renton, Washington, attended mainly by employees, Boeing released the 737 Max 10, the largest version of the Max yet.
- The Max 10 is Boeing’s competition to the Airbus A321 XLR, which was one of the stars of last week’s Dubai Airshow. Airlines ordered $5.7 billion worth of the A321 XLR at the show
- All 737 Max jets have been grounded around the world since March after two crashes which killed 346 people in total, and is not expected to return to flying until 2020.
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Boeing quietly unveiled the latest iteration of its troubled 737 Max aircraft on Friday, even as the plane remains grounded globally after two deadly crashes.
At a low-key ceremony at its headquarters in Renton, Washington, attended mainly by employees, Boeing released the 737 Max 10, the largest version of the Max yet.
The Max 10 seats a maximum of 230 passengers, around 30 more than the Max 8, the aircraft model involved in the two crashes that killed a total of 346 people.
Rather than the usual fanfare and excitement surrounding the launch of a new plane model, Boeing barely publicized the launch of the Max 10, sending only a brief press statement with a single picture of the aircraft.
It used the statement to try to focus on safety, as questions continue about the recertification of the 737 Max and its eventual return to service.
“This team’s relentless focus on safety and quality shows the commitment we have to our airline customers and every person who flies on a Boeing airplane,” the statement said.
It remains unclear when the 737 Max will be allowed to fly again as the Federal Aviation Administration continues to assess changes made to MCAS, the software on the Max that has been blamed for both crashes.
It is expected to return at some point in 2020, but many airlines which fly the plane have removed it from their flight schedules until at least March next year.
The unveiling of the Max 10 comes alongside continued fears from workers in the aviation industry over whether the Max will be safe once it returns to service.
Earlier in November, the head of the union representing American Airlines cabin crew implored Boeing to involve flight attendants in the process of re-certifying the 737 Max, saying that some crew are literally begging not to fly on the plane when it returns to service.
Days before, pilots for Southwest Airlines accused Boeing of “arrogance, ignorance, and greed” over the Max.
The launch of the new jet came at the end of a week when airlines put their faith strongly in the Airbus A321 XLR, a rival to the Max 10.
Airlines announced orders worth around $5.7 billion for the A321 XLR during the Dubai Airshow last week, with 40 of the planes ordered at the show.
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