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It is pretty obvious that Boeing is having a tough time selling its 737 MAX7 and MAX9 models.   With 3,090 orders, the MAX program is clearly not in difficulty.  But of those 3,090 only 60 are for MAX 7 and 217 for MAX 9.   The Airbus A320neo family has generated 4,510 orders, giving Airbus a substantial lead in market share.  Of those orders, 1,108 are for the A321neo, which is leading the MAX9 by a 5:1 margin.   While Boeing is offering a 200-seat high-density version of the MAX8, it is essentially the base aircraft with a few tweaks and essentially a Ryanair product.  As a result, while Boeing is offering a four aircraft MAX family, the market indicates that only one of those aircraft appears viable.

The MAX program was born out of a decision to offer something to American Airlines in July 2011 in reaction to Airbus A320neo family.  The airline ended up ordering 460 single aisle aircraft, with half from Airbus and half from Boeing.   Boeing was shocked that Airbus might win the entire order at a traditional Boeing customer and, seemingly overnight, offered a new version of 737 – the MAX.

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