Farnborough Air Show

Boeing Arrives with Max Order Boon from Delta, ANA

 - July 18, 2022, 8:25 AM

Boeing kicked off the 2022 Farnborough Airshow with firm order signings with Delta Air Lines for at least 100 Boeing 737 Max 10 jets and with All Nippon Airways parent ANA Holdings for twenty 737 Max 8s, along with two 777-8F cargo variants.

“We’re back in the fray,” said Mahendra Nair, senior v-p of fleet and TechOps supply chain for Delta, in announcing the decision to rebuild its Boeing fleet with the orders, which came with options on another 30 Max 10s. Under the contract, deliveries of the firm orders will take place from 2025 to 2029 with the options potentially carrying through 2031.

Delta also signed a separate service contract with Boeing Global Services for an interior reconfiguration of 29 Next Generation 737-900ERs that it has added to its fleet. Delta expects the “gently used” aircraft to be ready to enter its 2025 summer schedule, the company said.

In tandem with the Max 10 deal, Delta placed orders with CFM for up to 200 Leap-1B engines to power the aircraft, with provisions for additional spare engines and options for up to 60 more.

Nair called the Max agreement an “inflection point in our relationship with Boeing” and one that has been in the works for “a long, long time.”

While Delta has maintained a 50-year relationship with the airframer, he conceded that there has been “a little bit of a drought” of orders over the past 11 years. 

The aircraft will be configured for 182 seats with 29 percent premium seating.

“The way we have organized this airplane, [they] will provide about 20 percent more fuel efficiency than the airplanes that it's going to replace.”

He ranked commonality with the 737NG, however, as “the biggest factor that drove the decision making.” Delta's fleet includes 236 NGs in its fleet, and the Max purchase will enable Delta to fly it and the NGs throughout its network in the U.S.

Nair acknowledged the risks of opting for the Max 10 with the possibility that it would need a more modern engine indicating and crew alerting system (EICAS) to meet Congressional mandates that will take effect next year. Boeing has suggested that it would not proceed if it can’t certify the aircraft in time or receive an exemption or extension. Noting the importance of commonality as Delta begins retiring some of its older 737-800s, he said “obviously if there is a change…we would have to rethink about where we are because that’s a core principle as to why we’ve announced this order.”

But he expressed confidence that Boeing has addressed Delta's concerns and has been “very transparent” in terms of all the modifications it has made. Delta’s chief pilot has visited Boeing twice to evaluate the systems and the differences training. “We feel pretty comfortable about the ability of our pilots to get trained on the 737 [Max] 10s,” he noted. 

“I would even urge everybody in Congress and the FAA to consider the fact that commonality is the bellwether for us,” Nair added. 

Boeing and ANA Cargo
Stan Deal Boeing President and CEO and Shinya Katanozaka, ANA Holdings Chariman shake on the ANA Cargo order for Boeing aircraft. (Photo: David McIntosh)

As for the ANA signing ceremony, chairman Shinya Katanozaka discussed the importance of cargo operations as Covid-19 changed the landscape of the airline industry. He said the 777s will serve as a foundation for growth for its large freighter business. ANA becomes the first carrier in Asia to select the 777-8. The order appeared in Boeing's order books as unidentified.