Was Donald Trump Right? Boeing 737 MAX Customer Wants Brand Dropped

Air Lease, a large customer of the Boeing 737 MAX, wants the American manufacturer to scrap the aircraft’s branding. The news comes as other airlines have been spotted taking similar action.

Boeing 737 MAX, Rename, Donald Trump
Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft sit on the ground in Moses Lake. Photo: Getty Images

If you stood in a shopping mall and asked a range of people to name an aircraft, The Boeing 737 MAX would probably come up a fair few times. The aircraft has become fairly well known following a string of news reports surrounding two crashes and the grounding of the type. As a result, some customers of the MAX are looking to drop the MAX branding, something which even US President Trump suggested.

Rename the MAX

A month after he ordered that the Boeing 737 MAX be grounded, United States President Donald Trump came up with a solution to save the aircraft. The president suggested via Twitter that Boeing should drop the MAX name while adding new features to the aircraft.

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If and when the aircraft does eventually fly again, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to drop the MAX branding. Many Boeing 737s have their type painted on the front of the aircraft. However, Ryanair was spotted replacing “Boeing 737 MAX 8” with “Boeing 737-8200”. The Irish low-cost carrier is also refraining from using the MAX terminology on its website, instead referring to game-changer aircraft.

Why should the MAX be renamed?

This is especially important for a carrier such as Ryanair that typically uses airstairs to board the aircraft. Passengers will board the aircraft walking right past this model number, and I would bet that fewer people will realize they are on a MAX without the visual stimuli of the name. VietJet, who has the number printed at the rear of the aircraft, has been spotted using the “Boeing 737-8” name.

Ryanair, Boeing 737 MAX, October
Ryanair may not receive its first 737 MAX until October. Photo: Getty Images

Air Lease has 150 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on order for various clients. The lessor has called the MAX branding “damaged”, according to Reuters, and has claimed that it could lower the value of the aircraft. In fact, another Irish lessor, Timaero, previously announced it was suing Boeing as the aircraft it had ordered had “seriously diminished in value”.

Udvar-Hazy told the Airline Economics aviation finance conference:

“We’ve asked Boeing to get rid of that word MAX. I think that word MAX should go down in the history books as a bad name for an aircraft. The MAX brand is damaged and there is really no reason for it.”

Regardless of whether the Boeing 737 MAX is renamed, some people will surely refuse to fly on the aircraft. However, far fewer people will likely realize which aircraft they are flying on if it isn’t overtly named the MAX.

What are your thoughts? Should Boeing ditch the MAX branding to save the aircraft’s reputation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Kaden

Donald Trumps always right👌🏽

TheDude

In aviation circles most people would probably say no. We would say that because we know what we are flying on. Heck I choose flights by it. But the general public, no matter what they may say to some pollster, has no friggin clue. They go to expedia and search for price and time. Simple as that.

Frank

Dude, you are absolutely right – the general public has no clue. Lowest price, cheapest seat.

However…all it will take to start a stampede at the gate (because most of the world just follows the flock) will be ONE person who shows up and says out loud;

“Hey – that’s a 737 Max by Boeing. The one that crashed twice.”

Then all hell breaks loose.

John

That certainly demonstrates Boeing and other’s views on the flying public. Wow, they sure are stupid, so lets exploit the trait.

john

Just like the plan to rename the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Wow.

Michael

It’s similar to when you ask someone what car they drive and they reply “a red one”. You could market the Max as the Boeing a380 and the majority of the public wouldn’t notice if it wasn’t pointed out to them. It’s not that they stupid it’s just that aviation isn’t something that interests them. As long as it is re-certified people will fly on it.

Jimbobla

The name Boeing is what needs to be retired.

TheDude

Figured a cancel culture comment would get up votes. They made a mistake. They paid the price for it. Literally. Boeing builds more than a 737 max ffs. Those planes are fine.

Rassalas

The airplane has fundamental design flaws, it should be scrapped. Unfortunately the bean counters still have too much sway in the company, which this suggestion proves. The entire company is unreliable now.

Peter Ehrler

These planes are fine:????
KC 46: quality problems (foreign objects in plane), loading problems, mid-air refueling problems
B777X: doors blowing out
B787: Battery problems, light stricking safety problems on wing,
B737 MAX: all problem from design onwards
B737NG: pickle fark problems also engine casing redesign necessary (accident in US killing one pax).

You can’t blame Boeing for all of the engine problems, but that is another US aviation problem or issue in the making.

The only thing Boeing had going for them was the shareholder value, and that is starting to have problems as well

david brackin

so i guess you will be on its first re flight cheering it on from the inside?

Felix

The 737-MAX is a poorly designed aircraft. I would never fly on it ever again, no matter what regulators decide. However, not all people are as interested in aviation or follow this topic closely enough to know the details. If any of my family members had planned to fly on this aircraft I would help them find flights with another airline. The thing with changing the branding is that it's lying to customers about it. And it's implying that the airline itself doesn't trust the plane enough to be honest to their customers. The plane deserves the negative press and… Read more »

Phil

Felix, are you basing your conclusions on the media propaganda or are you: A) a pilot, B) an aeronautical engineer???? If not< I suggest you stop listening to the media who refer to a blown tire as a crash landing.

K Y

It is a fair comment. Each passenger has their right not to board an airplane that they are not confident in it, regardless he or she is a pilot or aeronautical engineer. Dropping the brand is just hiding and not honest …..

Niklas Andersson

737 Trump ?

Frank

Only if they’re trying to curry favour with the Emperor.

Personally (given recent news) I like the 737C&M

(clowns and monkeys)

Failing that – I think 737 LawnDart has a nice ring to it.

Gerry S

The MAX terminology SHOULD be exocised. It drags a good airplane down.

Frank

No sir. MCAS drags the Max down – right to the ground.

Shapes

No reason for the max’s bad reputation?
Are they living under a rock??

tom

No rebranding 737 Max will help Boeing , to forget this disaster. Boeing should design new airplane from scratch. It should fly short haul and long haul routes, Then he can use again 737 branding. But 737 Max is already doomed. They should listen to engineers in 2011, now they are paying the price for it. That’s all ladies and gentlemen.

Jagartlag

It’s criminal to trick passengers into boarding an aircraft they chose not to fly with. And a dangerous game for airlines (and Boeing, again!): Let whatever major incident happen and you will face lawsuits like ‘my husband died because he was on board an aircraft he would have never willingly boarded because the identity of the aircraft was covered up’ and stuff like that. And rightly so. That would be the end of Boeing (and the airline involved).

Roy Davies

This is a rediculous and feeble attempt at fobbing off the people who will fly on this boub fully safe aircraft. It should carry a title that reflects its newly established ‘safe to fly’ status when that happens. Until then any title given to it would be a fraudulent afront to passengers who would be innocents to that fraud.

Flyer

Imagine if both air disasters (Ethiopian and Lion Air) bad occurred on an American soil with American citizens.

Boeing would have needed to pay enormous compensations. The public would have pressured the manufacturer to get their s**t together and not be driven by greed.

However, because both disasters occurred outside of the US, it appears that those lives are not worth as much, so, let’s rename the plane.

I am outraged.

Pingy

Now imagine all that but with Airbus responsible.

ravioliollie

But they weren’t, Pingy.

TonytTDK

Flyer, That’s actually one of the reasons that Boing have ‘got away with it’ so far.! Part of the Boeing narrative has been that the pilots were actually at fault for failing to keep the planes in the air.! ….. Had the rashes happened in the West, particularly in the USA, that accusation wouldn’t have been made at all, or if it was, it would have quickly been refuted by the Pilots Union. The fact is that in the First crash, the Pilots on Board didn’t even know the system existed & in the Second crash, they were insufficiently well… Read more »

Anonymous

Boeing 637-100-200-300 ex

john

“737- dive, dive” ?

Flightjockey.

Max for me is no go,I wouldn’t even fly on a 737,there are better aircraft out there than boeing,dollar pinching safety cutters. They’ve had their own way far too long,they’ve become complacent

Alex

Hate to say it but Trump is right. First off it needs fixing. 2nd a new name, 3nd a reason for people to want to fly it is a great idea. For many Boeing will be tarnished for years by this. But for most of the public it will just be the 737 max that is tarnished. Obviously when designing the 797 they should make sure they have a smaller iteration go through testing at the same time that can replace the 737 future sales in 5-10 years. But for now if they don’t fix the 737 Max and get… Read more »

TonytTDK

The Boeing brand is now ‘damaged goods’. The thing is, that the B777X is supposed to have it’s first flight this week, just a couple of months after the fuselage they sent for stress-testing at the FAA, catastrophically exploded on test at below the required target, in what would have been a total-loss, mid-air break-up, had it occurred at altitude on a service flight….. & there have been recent issues with the B787, not the least of which is that Boeing have removed the copper foil which was built into the composites of the earlier examples, in order to save… Read more »

TonytTDK

It’ll be interesting to see when Boeing finally announces the commencement of the Future Small Aircraft (FSA) as the B737 replacement AND when they announce the commencement of the B797/MoM airframe. Boeing have been talking about both concepts for at least 5 years, possibly longer, yet they have seemingly done no work to actually bring either concept into an engineering reality. I would anticipate that each aircraft would each take a minimum of around FIVE Years to come into service, from whenever Boeing decide to start actually working on them. So it would appear that both aircraft are still at… Read more »

Jorn Hodal

Tom. You are absolutely right, and yes they need a completely new design. Money, money money

James

Just a sneaky move to deceive passengers! Best reply to this is not to fly Boeing at all.

MAK

not really! in such a case the ratio of aircraft to pax will fall substantially – the cost of travel may well nigh increase x2. Boeing have for the past several decades produced outstanding commercial aircraft – the 737 series included. with the max we see them trying to squeeze the last drop of ‘blood’ from a design which was initially designed around a different-generation of engines. The 737NGs are doing ok, but it should’ve been considered the final version. A newer design should’ve been followed which would be built around the next generation of engines……..the CoG mess resulting in… Read more »

Frank

As we consider the re-branding thingie, in other Max news – Boeing is looking to secure $10 BILLION in loans. Apparently it already has 6 wrapped up, but needs more.

At $5 billion a quarter, this will get them through until the summer.
(Imagine the beautiful brand spanking new jet they could have made with this money – if they’d listened to their engineers…)

john

This is the result for many companies who believed that MBA graduates could run their companies. Many have painfully learned that is not the case.

Buzz

When the DC-10 had a bad reputation, a change of name to MD-11 gave the same plane a new life for many years.

Reporter ATC

MD-11 was not a rebranded DC-10. MD-11 was a different aircraft.

TonytTDK

People SAY it was a different aircraft, but really it wasn’t.! The MD11 had the identical 3-engine configuration & shared the same wings, tail & fuselage with the DC10. What was different, was that the aircraft was longer, had uprated engines & a third main undercarriage (like the A340), plus it had a then ‘state-of-the-art’ ‘glass’ cockpit & no flight engineer position. In essence, the MD11 was a super-stretched DC10, with an all-new cockpit configuration. When Airbus/Aerospatiale upgraded the Concordes’ to ‘glass’ cockpits, no-one tried to say they were a different aircraft because of it.! The same is true of… Read more »

David C.

Yes, before the advent of the internet. Different times and a different result.

Neil W

The MD-11 was a derivative of the DC-10, it was 20 feet longer and carried more passengers along with other minor enhancements. It could not compete with the Airbus A340 or Boeing B777 as it retained the old wing from the DC-10.

Warren Heller

GREAT IDEA THE GERMANS CALLED THEIR GAS CHAMBERS “DELOUDING CENTERS’ THEY CALLED CONCENTTRATION CAMPS RESETTLEMENT CENTERS LET US TRICK THESE NEW PEOPLE MAYBE A FEW ARE JEWS.

William

And some folks call the ethnic cleansing of Palestine “resettlement”.

ravioliollie

You can’t fix the ignorant, especially the ones who use the cap key.

Wanel

Very ignorant of you maybe you should be used as a crash test dummy!!!

C parker

When you try to ban anything you put more focus on it. In fairness most travellers will take no notice of the plane they are on. Other factors are more important.

Now simulator training is likely to be mandated i am less worried about flying Ryanair when they finally get them. I am more concerned about 28″ seat pitch and micro toilets. It will be a safe plane, just very unpleasant to fly on.

Armand2REP

Deception is never the way to win back public trust. It always has a way of biting you in the arse.

Brad

1) Fix the problems.

2) People in the offices fix the branding.

3) Simulators for Flight Training

4) Test, test, test.

5) Find out what is endemically wrong in the company and fix. Go back to being an engineering company. Get rid of the pencil pushers or at least push them off the sides.

rassalas

We know what is wrong. When they added new engines it threw the whole airplane off it’s center of gravity, which required computer control to correct constantly. Why? because they were trying to avoid the costs for certifying a new airplane design. Apparently it’s a lot simpler to modify a modified an already existing airplane design, regardless of engineering considerations, than to certify a new plane. It’s not just the bean counters at Boeing that are at fault here, but those bean counters did try to pull a desperate housewife, admission scandal, and should be charged with murder.

TangoMike

Everything you said is totally false. That’s NOT what the issue was at all. Not a CG issue. It’s a STICK FORCE OR STICK FEEL issue. Slightly more force is required on a Max than an NG at high angles of attack. The MCAS changes that force feel to make it feel like the NG. This was a certification issue. Most pilots could care less, and wouldn’t hardly notice it.

Brad

Boeing should look to the Future. They should design new airplanes. Part of the problem is the new engines. The airplane (737) is too low to the ground.It causes airplane to pitch up, because the engines are too far forward, or at least they’re at or near the limit. MCAS should be redesigned to be fault-tolerant. You have to have another port. If the ports disagreed, the system should go to manual. There should be an operator override. These aren’t hard things to do. You just have to do them. They’re already spent 12 billion dollars on the program, and… Read more »

Phil

Brad, the pitch up is in part due to engine placement while flying, ground proximity of the engines has nothing to do with pitching up. All aircraft with similarly placed engines pitch up when power is increased (Boeing 767, 777 are but a few) while flying at lower airspeeds. All you need to do is retrim the stab to counteract the pitch up while spooling up the turbines. The MCAS was engineered to put the nose down if it pitched up too much if the pilot was not re-trimming. Everything would have been fine if some idiots in India had… Read more »

Rene

The problem is not the name, the problem is it crashes!

Virginia L Burtis

The person that said there really is no reason that the word MAX “gets all this negativity.” These last 4 words are my own. I would want to know if I were getting on the MAX aircraft regardless of what brand they change it to. Bottom line – I do not trust Boeing to make the needed changes and repairs. They already killed 378 people without remorse. I don’t want to be one of their statistics.

TonytTDK

A valid point, but the facts are that the FAA now know wayyyyyyyy more about this airframe than they did 3 years ago when they first certified it…… AND the FAA are ow no-longer ‘on-trust’ by the rest of the Worlds aviation certification bodies. When the FAA certified the MAX, al the rest of the World just ‘rubber-stamped’ that decision. That will not happen this time. China has said it Will certify the aircraft itself, which is reasonable as Chinese airlines currently have the most MAX’s actually delivered. By the time the MAX actually comes back into service, it will… Read more »

david brackin

and the FAA are just as negligent as Boeing is in allowing this air frame to be certified.come on now a 60 year old air frame that has been modified so many times over the years.what was Boeing’s response,reshuffle the pieces on the chess board.not appoint a completely;y new board,just reshuffle positions and continue on with same negligent attitude that got it into the headlines.max is not the only Boeing plane with problems currently or in the very recent past.yet you Boeing fan boys keep on praising them.you are as deluded as Boeing is.

mileduets

Today the distrust of the “flying public” is limited more or less to airplanes bearing the MAX name. If Boeing starts trying to make the MAX models harder to distinguish from others, it risks tarnishing the whole 737 model range reputation.

Chris

Actually most of the 737 models have some of the issues of the MAX (small trim wheel, slat runner, cable harness, pickle forks) but have not crashed because of those. Boeing working hard to fix the real MAX issue MCAS, AOA sensors, flight computer cross-check, trim switches, checklists. They now agree simulator training is advised. Boeing have done a lot of about face and will make the MAX what it should have been. It can be safe. For all that I would probably give it a while before flying on one but I am not typical public who just book… Read more »

Jorge Vegar

Is this plane fatally flawed? We need someone other then Boeing to prove it is not. Until then I will not fly any MAX (or any new name the give it). The engine’s size and placement make this plan unsafe apparently. If I was Boeing I would get to work now on a new modern plane and scrape this 60’s designed plane with a longer body and a bigger engine that stalls during takeoffs and possibly at other times. Ain’t got time to fly that.

Donna Robertson

Are you asking would rebranding cover the same inherent fault and therefore magically make the aircraft safe to fly in?
The answer is I will not fly in a Max rebranded or not as I will never be able to trust Boeing or the FAA or the CAA again. They are playing Russian roulette with the lives of innocent passengers in order to save their bottom line.
Scrap the aircraft scrap the concept … it just takes one more disaster plus the growing flight shaming to render the love affair with airlines over.

Gerry S

Knew I made a faux pas as soon as I entered my comment about the name dragging down the a/c. However I could not retrieve my post. Hoped no one would notice. Frank did. Do not like him much.

Frank

Ahhhhhh…Blessings from the pope.

Mark

Udvar-Hazy is of course primarily interested in the value of his investments. Prior to the Max crashes and grounding, and all that has come to light since I trusted Belong and the FAA to design, certify and build safe aircraft. Unfortunately that is no longer the case. Unless they can both convince me that every aspect of the design has been appropriately scrutinized and is safe (which would involve them admitting they screwed up in the first place) I’ll let others be the guinea pigs. That goes for other new and refreshed Boeing designs as well, including the 777X. Changing… Read more »

Gerry S

@Buzz: The DC-10s name change had nothing to do with its reputation. It was to identify the a/c as Boeing's new aquisition. The MD-11 was a much improved product over the DC-10.

rassalas

This just means flyers will avoid all Boeing aircraft.

Gerry S

@WarrenHeller: WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS COMMENT HAVE TO DO WITH MAX? Real poor taste.

Mick

Boeing just cut your losses, the Max has got to meney issues, and there will be more, this is what happens when you get greedy, and rush this plane into production, it’s come back to bite you….

John

Calling a dog a cat is hardly a commendable idea. Do they think us that gullible.

TonytTDK

Frankly, YES.!
The average human being barely knows one end of a plane from the other & many passengers board via an airbridge, so they hardly see the actual aircraft & many passengers are ‘far too cool’ to pay a blind bit of notice to the safety card which tells you the type of plane you’re flying in anyway.!!!

William

Getting a new aircraft design into service will take 8 years from project kickoff to first passenger carrying flight. Everyone starts these projects claiming they’ll take 5 but they always end up 7-8. A completely new NSA to replace the B737 will take nearly 8 years and will then require even longer to ramp up. Boeing must make the MAX work as well as have a replacement started soon.

Frank

William – you hit the nail on the head. The only thing you omitted to mention is that the costs of bringing a new type to market could be from some $10-20 billion, depending on how it goes. Boeing is out now looking for some $10 billion in a loan, to cover their current situation. It’ll be awhile before they have money for anything…

Ian Campbell

Boeing’s Yellowstone project submitted a patent for Y1, a 73-/75- successor, ten years ago. Y2 (787)’s patent was long before that. The Dreamliner was groundbreaking, despite the lithium battery fiasco (and gave Airbus ideas to tweak without having to repeat the clean-sheet engineering themselves – like their 320 from our 737 program, done once again). Boeing had plenty of time to realize that the Dreamliner style was feasible and to go ahead with the Y1 … and yet their bean counters panicked as soon as the 330 and 320 neos were announced. Profit first, ingenuity later? Guess who would have… Read more »

David R. Hall

The major reason for this problem is that good engineering and good parts were not used on this airplane. If boeing were to go back a correct all the weaknesses in the design and used high quality parts then maybe it may help to fly this craft again. but if they only use bandaids then I would not trust boeing or this airplane again !

Richard Sachs

Don’t bring Trump into this. Boeing is more than capable to make their own decisions.

Frank

Donnie likes to be included in things – after all, he said he made air travel as safe as ever. He also said Boeing should re-brand and he gave Delta sh!t for a) not showing up for some face time and b) ordering Airbus jets over Boeing jets.
How’s that working out for them, I wonder?

Frank

Just had to add this to the discussion: “After Blowing $43 Bn on Share-Buybacks in 6 Years, Boeing Scrambles to Borrow $10 Bn, on Top of a $9.5 Bn Credit Line in Oct, to Fund its 737 MAX Fiasco” https://wolfstreet.com/2020/01/20/after-blowing-43-bn-on-share-buybacks-in-6-years-boeing-scrambles-to-borrow-10-bn-on-top-of-the-9-5-bn-credit-line-it-got-in-oct-to-fund-the-surging-costs-of-its-737-max-fiasco/ (from the article) If Boeing had focused on its business – such as designing a new plane instead of doctoring an ancient design to save money and time – and if it hadn’t blown $43 billion on share-buybacks but had invested this money in a new design, those two crashes wouldn’t have occurred, and it wouldn’t have to beg for… Read more »

BobbyRay

Collins Aerospace India Demonstrates Commitment to D&I WE Local India 2019 brought together women from across the country including university students, women in academia and professionals in engineering. The conference almost doubled its participants from the last three years with everybody uniting to this year’s theme of “Breaking Boundaries.” 1. Collins Aerospace, having engineers from India design the MCAS software, have created a language and cultural barrier, that, according to a software engineer that works for Boeing, has created a huge mess for them. 2. When Boeing killed BCE and fired all of their own software and hardware engineers, to… Read more »

Paul

Rebranding a dangerous product that has killed hundreds of people to disguise it is criminal negligence. It confirms the malfeasant management culture of not only the manufacturer but the various brokers and airlines that are realizing major financial losses. The gap in credibility and trust with the travelling public is monumental and may well be permanent. Trust in the American aeronautical sector may not be recapturable.

vittal murthy

It is a very good idea to change the name

Stan M

As I see it, Boeing are faced with two problems. First, what to do with the 387 grounded aircraft, basking in the sun complete with purchasing airlines’ livery waiting to have the MCAS redesigned and other software faults solved. Reworked. The second is all new production aircraft. I will always want to be aware of any 737 I fly on if that aircraft is one of the Reworked ones simply because I do not wish to fly in one! Therefore my suggestion is to rename those affected aircraft 737 MAX RW – for Reworked. For all ‘new’ production planes, surely… Read more »

Andrew Perrott

A dog by any other name… Boeing is damned whatever it does.

Dan

Is there a way (or a site) to know which kind of 737 plane you’ll be flying, when making a reservation ?
Personnaly, if it appears to be a MAX, I’ll switch airline or cancel plans.

Chris

Many airlines reservations systems will show you the aircraft type. Check as you book or “manage my booking” and look for the type of plane – you might have to decode abbreviations such as 7M8 or B38M to work out its a MAX. You might also query that same flight # on “flightaware” to see previous flights. However airlines might also change plane types up until just before you fly, so if you get to the gate and its a MAX ….?

Norm|normpich@aol.com

No matter what XYZ name is assigned to the B737 MAX, this aircraft is Doomed to Failure since Day one, and change of name will be a worthless Coverup and Propaganda rhetoric, about how à new name will change the Disastrous plane created by the Pecker-heads.

Tony Small

So – rename the aircraft…. Its still a Boeing 737 Max 8 irrespective of the renaming or whatever cosmetic changes are
Made to it …..
Do Boeing think that all of the travelling public have short memories ?

David Galbraith

“A month after he ordered that the Boeing 737 MAX be grounded…”

For the sake of accuracy, that decision wasn’t taken by Trump, nor did he order the aircraft to be grounded. That decision was, belatedly, taken by the FAA, after the CAA and many other Aviation Authorities (and firstly China’s) had already grounded the aircraft.

Is that something else he’s claiming he was responsible for, or simply irresponsible reporting?

Captain Tareq Abdin

I agree to drop max and rename the B737 with another name like super or _8 super

Brandi Sour

They could rename this aircraft anything they want – but it is still a 737 max.
When it is eventually re-certified following all the careful scrutiny by the FAA, it should be the safest aircraft in the world. However, you won’t find me boarding one any time soon.