Boeing ought to strip the word ‘Max’ from the troubled member of its 737 family to allay passengers’ concerns about the brand, following two fatal crashes, an aircraft lessor has said.
Speaking at the Aviation Economics Growth Frontiers conference in Dublin, Steven Udvar-Hazy, who is a chairman at Air Lease, said he has asked Boeing to “get rid of that word Max”.
He told reporters at the conference: “There’s no reason why Boeing can’t call it a 737-8 , 737-9, 737-7.”
The Max has been grounded for almost a year and is not expected to return to service until mid-2020 according to the planemaker.
Two crashes resulting in the deaths of 346 people and the ensuing delays getting the plane back to service has tainted the brand, some industry commentators think.
Mr Udvar-Hazy said: “The Max brand is damaged and there’s no reference to Max in any of the documentation that Boeing submitted to the regulators, it’s just the 737.”
He suggested that passengers may be hesitant to fly on the Max aircraft and said that changing its name could help to allay some of the potential fears.Lease rates for the Max have been dented since its grounding, Mr Udvar-Hazy said, but he thinks they will probably settle by next year.