Boeing CEO says he won't rebrand the 737 MAX

There are no plans to drop the 'MAX' brand once the troubled Boeing jet resumes flying.

By David Flynn, December 7 2020
Boeing CEO says he won't rebrand the 737 MAX

Boeing CEO David Calhoun has ruled out removing the MAX name from its troubled 737 jet.

Front-page coverage of two deadly crashes involving the 737 MAX and its subsequent worldwide grounding has raised questions of how safe passengers will feel in setting foot onto a Boeing 737 MAX flown by any airline.

But Boeing isn't shying away from the MAX brand of its next-generation 737, which is the shot-range workhorse of airlines around the world.

“There is no rebranding going on,” affirms Boeing CEO Calhoun “There’s nothing cute going on.”

Calhoun's comments came as Irish carrier Ryanair, already a solid 737 MAX customer with 135 orders placed, announced on December 3 that it would take another 75 MAX jets.

Ryanair raised eyebrows when its marketing materials referred to the aircraft as the "737-8200", sparking Calhoun's comments on the future of the MAX family brand.

However, Ryanair's order is for a 'high-density' version of the 737 MAX 8 which Boeing has dubbed the 737 MAX 200, as it seats up to 200 passengers in an all-economy configuration with slimline seats, and even requires an additional pair of exit doors due to the higher passenger capacity. This skew is formally designated as the Boeing 737-8200.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said his airline would also consider placing an order for the super-sized MAX 10, which has room for around 230 passengers using standard single-class seating.

Closer to home, Virgin Australia's $2.5 billion order for 48 Boeing 737 MAX jets – the first of which was due to be delivered in July 2021 – remains on ice, with a spokesman for the airline telling Executive Traveller "we are continuing discussions with Boeing around our 737MAX order as well as any future fleet requirements."

Singapore Airlines' regional arm Silkair, which is now being folded back into its parent superbrand, had six MAX 8 jets in hand and 31 more on order when Boeing grounded the MAX in March 2019.

Also read: Boeing's 737 MAX is ready to fly, but maybe not passengers


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1197

With VA having removed most of its older 737s from its fleet as part of administration, they have ended up with a comparatively young fleet with an overall average age of around 7 years.  This will make their fleet age significantly younger than both Qantas and REX (both about 12 years).  Most but not all of the ongoing fleet are equipped with the Sky Interior so there is no rush for them to move to the MAX.  

I suspect they will negotiate with Boeing to keep the MAX order on the books but the delivery dates will be pushed out into the distant future.  Whether the MAX ever joins the fleet or Boeing and VA later agree to use the deposits towards a new 787 fleet for a reborn international operation will be a decision that won't be addressed for 2 or 3 years at least. 

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 104

VA should take this administration period to re-assess it's fleet plans.  I kind of feel they should have at the A321XLR as not only would it be a good domestic plane with a good payload, but give them the option to open international routes like Brisbane to Haneda, without the requirement to fill a widebody.

I can see why you feel the A321XLR would make sense here, but let's be realistic, Virgin survived by the skin of its teeth, it's got a long way to go, and its new owners are not about to open the purse to spend untold millions on new aircraft. Bain is ruled by ONE thing, and that's the bottom line, and going shopping for new jets like the A321XLR makes no sense in this environment.


03 May 2013

Total posts 673

By rights nobody should be flying the max, fixed or not. Neither it or Boeing deserve any custom after the deaths of so many people due to their sheer greed..

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 339

I’m with you on that Joe!! If it’s Boeing... I’m not going!! Full STOP!! 

So you only fly Jetstar within Australia, Speedbird? Because almost all domestic Qantas and Virgin flights are on Boeing 737s.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1422

I suspect Qantas may move to the A320 family starting with with A321XLR in a couple of years and going from there.


02 May 2016

Total posts 62

I doubt it.....QF is heavily invested in 737’s (crew, training, spares etc) and for the troubled MAX program, an airline with an impeccable safety record such as QF I think means AJ will work Boeing over for some super cheap planes.....Boeing needs someone like QF to stick with the 737 and Joyce will milk that for every last dollar

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 75

If we look at the history of aviation both Boeing and Airbus have had crashes due to a design faults, pilot error or whatever. Still some people are adimate they will never step foot onto that particular aircraft. After several years of flawless service and proven airworthinenews most people forget all about the aircrafts troubled past. I have flown on Southwest's 737 Max prior to them being grounded and will fly on them again, I know the FAA would have made sure  the 737 Max is safe to take to the skies once again with vigorous scrutiny given before  it was certified to fly again.

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