Boeing chief executive Dave Calhoun told Aviation Week in an interview that there was a risk the plane maker could cancel its 737 Max 10 program over certification issues with US regulators.
In the interview, which was published on July 7, 2022, Calhoun said that although the manufacturer is not currently planning to drop its 737 MAX 10 aircraft program, shelving the jet “is not that threatening” considering some of the other challenges Boeing has faced in recent years.
“If you go through the things we’ve been through, the debts that we’ve had to accumulate, our ability to respond, or willingness to see things through even a world without the -10 is not that threatening,” Calhoun was cited as saying.
However, the CEO admitted that there is still a risk of cancelling the MAX 10.
“The Boeing 737 MAX 10 is a little bit of an all-or-nothing. […] I think our case is persuasive enough… This is a risk I’m willing to take. If I lose the fight, I lose the fight,” Calhoun said.
“I don’t expect [to cancel the program, ed.-], and I don’t want anybody to think that. It’s just a risk,” he added.
Launched in 2017, the Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft is the largest variant of the 737 MAX family, which is currently under development. But to start commercial operations with the jet, the manufacturer must first win approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by the end of 2022. If the FAA does not certify the plane before the end of 2022, only the US Congress can extend the deadline.
However, if the FAA refuses to give the aircraft the green light and the certification deadline is passed to Congress, Boeing will face additional requirements.
Following a new law, which was enacted by the US Congress in December 2020, aircraft manufacturers will be obliged to install a new pilot alerting system in the flight deck in order to help pilots to prioritize warnings activated in-flight to eliminate potential safety risks. This will come into effect from December 27, 2022.
But if Boeing fails to meet the current FAA deadline and is asked to redesign the flight deck alerting system, such changes will require additional investments. It will also withdraw the 737 MAX 10 variant commonality with other MAX family jets. This is likely to make the aircraft less attractive to Boeing’s existing customers and could lead to a loss of orders for the 737 MAX 10.
According to the list of Boeing 737 MAX orders and deliveries, the manufacturer had more than 710 737 MAX 10 variant aircraft on order as of February 2022.