The Boeing Co. did a soft launch Monday of a 737 MAX 10X, a stretched single-aisle aircraft to compete with Airbus’ popular A321neo.
Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing from Boeing Commercial Airplanes, confirmed at the ISTAT Americas conference in San Diego that the company is in talks with several potential customers.
“In fact, we’ve already extended business offers to some of those customers,” Tinseth wrote on his company blog, Randy’s Journal, on Monday.
If Boeing goes ahead with the 10X, it likely would enter service with airlines around 2020, he said.
Speaking at the conference, he said that the airplane could officially launch this year, industry analyst Scott Hamilton reported on his website Leeham News and Comment.
It would be the fifth version of 737 MAX, the latest iteration of the 737 family. Boeing is rolling out the 737 MAX 9 on Tuesday at its Renton plant. The 737 MAX 8 first flew in early 2016. Boeing also plans to develop the 737 MAX 7 — the smallest version — and the MAX 200, a high density version of the MAX 8.
Hamilton estimates that the A321neo will still have a small advantage in capacity — three more seats in a standard two-class configuration.
Tinseth claims that the MAX 10X will have greater range and 5 percent lower operating costs per seat than the A321neo.