Why Delta Wants The Boeing 737 MAX Back In The Skies

Delta Air Lines wants Boeing to get the grounded Boeing 737 MAX back in the sky, despite the fact that the airline doesn’t actually have any of the aircraft!

Delta underside
Delta wants Boeing to dust itself off and get back to making aircraft. Photo: Delta Air Lines

What are the details?

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian was speaking to Yahoo Finance recently and addressed industry concerns about the ill-fated Boeing 737 MAX.

The Boeing 737 MAX has been grounded after two crashes (unrelated to the recent Boeing 737-800 crash) due to an error with the MCAS system.

According to Live and Lets Fly, Delta’s CEO went on to discuss how Boeing needed to stop being in damage control and get back to innovating.

“We are anxious to see the MAX back into the sky. I think having it as long as it’s been out is not good for anyone in the industry, even though we don’t fly the MAX, because we need Boeing, to continue to work on development and innovation of future technology. That’s been our message to Boeing, is to not lose sight of the future.”

The CEO went on to suggest that the Boeing 737 MAX disaster was a distraction for the aerospace builder.

He concluded with the statement that Boeing is needed for the industry, and his airline, to grow.

“We need to be able to get the technology and the next-generation aircraft that we really need to continue to advance our opportunities to grow.”

Delta Air Lines A350 on taxiway
Delta is heavily invested in Airbus and does not have the 737 MAX. Photo: Airbus

Why did he say these comments?

It is a bit strange that the CEO of an airline would suggest that an aircraft that is unsafe get back in the sky. However, from a business point of view, it makes sense.

Airlines need there to be multiple suppliers of airframes in a competitive environment in order for them to get the best possible deal. If Boeing were to really suffer due to problems like the Boeing 737 MAX grounding, it might give Airbus too much leverage in the market place.

So much leverage that Boeing or other competitors to Airbus might never be able to reclaim market share and be stamped out. This would give Airbus an unfair advantage of the market.

A Delta Air Lines Airbus A220
Delta is also one of the champions of the Airbus A220, and part of the reason the type is doing so well. Photo: Delta

This is very unlikely to happen of course, as Boeing is heavily invested in US military contracts, plenty of other orders (like the 787) and has the backing of the US government (plus all the problems that would occur to Airbus thanks to anti-trust laws if it did become a monopoly).

As for Delta, they might not have the Boeing 737 MAX, but they certainly want the option to buy the aircraft in the future, or any others from the Boeing line. Plus, it is good to have your local aerospace builders back in a time of crisis, you never know what favor you may need in the future.

What do you think about this news? Should Delta be defending Boeing? Let us know in the comments.