Lion Air may help launch Boeing 737 MAX 10: sources

Tue Jun 6, 2017 1:11am EDT
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CANCUN, Mexico/JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air may be an inaugural customer for a new Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote) plane that will become the largest member of its 737 medium-haul jet family, expected to be launched at the Paris Airshow, three people familiar with the plans said.

The order for the new 737 MAX 10 model may, however, include some aircraft originally ordered in a smaller size and upgraded to the proposed new 190-230-seat model, two of them said.

Lion Air will be a launch customer for the 737 MAX 10, Lion Air Group President Director Edward Sirait confirmed to Reuters. He did not immediately provide the number of planes it has ordered.

Boeing declined to comment.

Indian budget carrier SpiceJet Ltd (SPJT.BO: Quote) also is among carriers seen as potential targets for the aircraft, a version designed to seat up to 230 people and blunt strong sales of the Airbus A321neo, two of the sources said.

SpiceJet could not immediately be reached for comment.

United Airlines (UAL.N: Quote) also has been closely studying the aircraft as Boeing pitches for a marquee customer to launch the fifth variant of its 737 MAX family, two other sources said.

United Airlines Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz, contacted at an airlines meeting in Mexico, declined to comment.

Jet Airways Ltd (JET.NS: Quote), India's biggest full service carrier by market share, is in talks to buy 75 single-aisle aircraft from either Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) or Boeing, people familiar with the matter said earlier.   Continued...

A Lion Air plane taxis after landing at Denpassar international airport in Bali March 23, 2017.  REUTERS/Thomas White