Boeing shows off the new 737 MAX 10 at Paris Air Show

Andrew Munro 20 June 2017

Boeing737Max-738

With more capacity, but also more efficiency, the MAX 10 doubles up on benefits.

The Paris Air Show caught a lot of eyes, but the announcement of Boeing's new 737 MAX 10 might have stolen the show. It claims this new addition will have the lowest ever seat-mile cost of any one-aisle airplane ever made.

The 737 MAX was the fastest selling airplane in Boeing history, with more than 3,700 orders to date, but the MAX 10 might be on track to beat it with over 240 orders already placed.

What makes the MAX 10 different?

It's an all around more efficient plane, with small changes making a big difference.

  • Modifications: Modified wings designed for low-speed drag reduction, new winglets and a lighter bulkhead contribute to its fuel efficiency.
  • Longer range: More efficiency gives the plane about 200nmi (370km) more range than today's 737. This can open up more routes, and might considerably drop the cost of certain trips that would have needed stopovers previously.
  • More direct routes: The 737 MAX 10 has the capacity for up to 230 passengers. The 737 family doesn't match the capacity of its larger brethren, but is perfect for certain routes that just don't have the demand for larger planes. A lot more of these routes might now be accessible for direct flights, for the first time.

What can you expect?

Cheaper flights. Cost-effectiveness, and therefore your ticket price, are dependent on how airlines balance customer volume, seating space, weight and fuel efficiency, and the MAX 10 has taken a very ground-up approach to these issues by adding a bit of fuselage length and capacity, while still managing to bring out more efficiency gains.

It's not entirely clear when the first MAX 10s will be delivered and put into service, but it might be able to further drop the price floor on a wide range of flights. In Australia, this price floor might currently stand at about $28 one way for shorter trips between capitals, in that it's practically impossible for airlines to offer anything cheaper.

For example:

And these are probably some of the cheapest flights anywhere in Australia right now.

Ten years ago, no one would have believed flying cross country could be cheaper than taking the train. As new flight technology ekes out further gains, this balance can only shift more.

However, there's still no substitute for a good old fashioned flight sale. The MAX 10 is about 5% more cost-effective overall, but you could save ten times that amount just by jumping onto the right sale. Subscribe below, and get them sent right to your inbox as soon as they drop.

Feature image: Boeing.com

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