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.
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.
What do I know about branding, maybe nothing (but I did become President!), but if I were Boeing, I would FIX the Boeing 737 MAX, add some additional great features, & REBRAND the plane with a new name.
No product has suffered like this one. But again, what the hell do I know?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
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.
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!