The Indonesian budget carrier may be an inaugural customer for the new Boeing jet according to sources. Fred Katayama reports.
Boeing may have found its inaugural customer for its new version of the 737 jet, the MAX 10. Sources say Lion Air may be that first buyer. The Indonesian budget airline's president director confirmed the carrier will be a launch customer but wouldn't say how many planes it has ordered. Boeing would not comment. The MAX 10 seats up to 230 people. It is the fifth variant of the MAX lineup, and the MAX is the fourth generation of an aircraft that debuted 50 years ago. But Boeing's archrival, Airbus, has had a one-year head start with ts competing A320neo jet. Boeing is looking for a marquee customer to launch the jet. Sources also say United Airlines has been closely studying it. Its CEO Oscar Munoz would not comment. Teal Group aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia said, "There are few undecided customers on the fence. How do you score strategic wins other than getting into the enemy's order book?" Sources say Boeing plans to launch the plane at the Paris Airshow in June.