Dethroned! The case of the Boeing 737 MAX part two
In our first installment, we talked about the problems faced by the Boeing 737 MAX, this time we will delve a little more into the challenges of the newest aircraft from the American mega manufacturer.
Boeing has lost a lot of business because of this. Every day we report on airlines that, in an effort to stay current, switch to the competition and replace their Boeing 737s with Airbus A320 aircraft in any of its variants, but especially with the direct competition of the 737 MAX, the Airbus A320neo.
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The A320neo is currently the most popular single-aisle aircraft in the world, with an endless backlog, and a white-tail-free delivery yard, the space in Airbus’ delivery book to get one of these jets it is practically impossible to get.
Airlines such as KLM, traditionally a Boeing operator, are deciding to switch their fleet to Airbus equipment. In recent months, the Dutch flag carrier announced its decision to swap its Boeing 737 fleet for Airbus A320neo aircraft for itself and its low-cost subsidiary, Transavia. In total 100 jets that will begin to be delivered from the second half of 2023 and that became one more order from a traditional client that slips through Boeing’s fingers.
The platform is far from dead, customers like Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and United Airlines keep the project alive and it is a fact that there will be Boeing 737 MAX for a while, but unfortunately for Boeing not at the levels it wanted, the crown for the MAX is lost at the moment with 4,878 orders for its Boeing 737 MAX against the 7,986 orders for the A319neo, A320neo and A321neo which by the way is stealing the show with the amount of conversion of orders from its smaller brother the A320 to A321.
The problem is also generational. While the generations of pilots in the 1980s did not trust the Airbus 320 because of its electronic systems and its resulting accident in 1988, this new generation of pilots, who grew up with more electronic technology in their hands, does not seem to have a problem with more advanced systems. automated aircraft are much more accepted now than 30 years ago.
Another problem is that while Boeing continued to work in a traditional way, Airbus became an expert in electronic systems. The proof of this, is unfortunately the Boeing 737 MAX itself. When Airbus knows perfectly well how to integrate electronic systems with mechanics, in this attempt by Boeing things did not go as well as planned and the result was an airplane that ended up generating unsafe situations due to electronic errors that ended in fatal accidents.
The collective memory is not very long, and there is a good possibility that over the years the bad opinion of Boeing products will be diluted. If you can add a few scandal-free years on top, confidence in the jet is likely to return and sales will rebound. The MAX is a safe plane, it can be argued that it is the safest in jealousy today. Let’s hope that the years give him back the prestige he has well deserved.