737 Max Orders Help Boeing Crush Airbus at Farnborough Airshow

The once grounded airliner stages a big comeback.

Delta Air Lines Airbus 737-10

Delta Air Lines ordered 100 737 Max 10s—now rebranded as 737-10s. [Courtesy: Delta Air Lines]

Boeing’s 737 Max led airliner orders this week at England’s 2022 Farnborough International Airshow, representing a comeback of the beleaguered single-aisle jet.

Three years after Max airplanes were grounded in the wake of two deadly accidents, multiple Max variants garnered the lion's share of Boeing's 176 orders, eclipsing total orders for airliners manufactured by rival Airbus.

This year’s event marked the first time airliner manufacturers and customers have gathered at Farnborough since the COVID-19 pandemic cratered air travel in 2020, hobbling the airline industry. 

As air travel ramps up this summer, Boeing’s largest order came from Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, which ordered 100 737 Max 10s—now rebranded as 737-10s. Delta’s first new Boeing order since 2011 had been preceded by large Delta orders for Airbus A321 and its fuel-efficient A321neo variant. 

“The aircraft will complement Delta’s high-performance A321neo fleet,” Delta said in a statement. The order will bring the carrier’s total 737 fleet to more than 300 aircraft, Delta’s second-largest fleet family behind Airbus’ A320. 

Delta acknowledged the 737-10 variant is still awaiting final certification from the FAA—expected in 2023. “In the event of a delay, the agreement has adequate protection in place, including allowing Delta to shift to another model of [the] Max family if necessary,” Delta said.

Other Significant Orders

Airbus benefited from Delta’s spending spree as well, firming up 12 options for Airbus A220-300s, the larger version of the single-aisle airliner. 

The total number of Airbus orders at Farnborough this year was smaller than Boeing’s, but included 56 orders from EasyJet for A320neos, including 18 previously ordered A320neos converted to orders for larger A321neos. 

In fact the ultra-efficient A321neo received 17 orders from LATAM.

Nonetheless, Airbus orders at Farnborough totaled only 85 aircraft—a lower number than analysts expected. “If they really have some unfinished deals in the making, it remains to be seen,” Richard Schuurman of industry consultant AirInsight told FLYING. This week yielded the lowest number of Airbus orders at a major European airshow since the Paris Air Show in 2017, Schuurman said, “although they have already sold over 500 aircraft this year.”

Airbus Leaves Early

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury and chief commercial officer Christian Scherer skipped the company’s traditional week-ender news conference to announce final order tallies. Instead, they left the airshow on Wednesday, a day earlier than expected, the Seattle Times reported. 

Times reporter Dominic Gates reported Scherer told him, “Don’t worry about our sales ability. We’re doing really well, thank you very much.”


Brazil-based Embraer reported orders for eight E175 airliners for Horizon Air and two E190 converted freighters for Nordic Aviation Capital.

Embraer also reported receiving letters of intent (LOIs) to purchase more than 250 of Embraer’s new 70- and 90-seat turboprops. The next-gen airliner is expected to be launched next year in Paris, Schuurman said. “It would almost double their order backlog and drastically improve their business case.”

Thom is a former senior editor for FLYING. Previously, his freelance reporting appeared in aviation industry magazines. Thom also spent three decades as a TV and digital journalist at CNN’s bureaus in Washington and Atlanta, eventually specializing in aviation. He has reported from air shows in Oshkosh, Farnborough and Paris. Follow Thom on Twitter @thompatterson.

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