Boeing 737-10 Certification Delays Likely

Daniel Fowkes
17 Jan 2024
· Aircraft 
Certification to the largest member of the 737 MAX, the 737-10, is likely to extend towards 2025 following comments from Ryanair's Chief. This would ultimately represent a further delay after it was hopeful certification would arrive in 2024.

Uncertainty remains around Boeing’s upcoming certification of the 737-10 as Ryanair’s boss, Michael O’Leary, tells media at a press conference in London.

Comments on the 737-10s approval came following Ryanair’s announcement that they’d expand service from London with new routes and aircraft based at several airports.

737-10 Certification Soon?

Initially broken by Reuters, but following comments from Ryanair’s head, expectations around the 737-10 certification remain largely unclear.

Boeing has recently remained hesitant to provide a specific timeline for approval of their 737-10, knowing there’s another variant they must focus on.

While some are quoting certification by the end of 2024, including Michael O’Leary, there are now concerns about whether Boeing will be able to meet that.

Ryanair’s chief said that he wasn’t sure whether Boeing would make certification by year’s end, and the likelihood it will come in 2025 is increasing by the day.

However, even if certification were to occur by year-end, this doesn’t mean customers would necessarily be flying the variant on scheduled services until 2025.

Boeing Has Another Variant To Focus On

While the focus from Ryanair’s Chief Executive is placed on the 737-10, another variant in the popular series has yet to be certified.

Boeing’s smallest member of the series, the 737-7, remains uncertified, too. Southwest, towards the latter stages of 2023, said they expected approval by April 2024, factoring in delays. However, this forecast was made before the 737-9 accident and the subsequent fallout occurred.

Southwest was also seen to have said that even if regulators secured an April 2024 approval for the 737-7, they didn’t expect to be flying the type until the end of the calendar year, indicating the associated wait times following approval.

Recently, the Boeing 737 MAX has seen persistent delays to certification, with timelines being stretched. These delays have ballooned so much that the American plane maker no longer provides firm updates on the timeframe.

Instead, the company is choosing to take its time with the process to ensure that the plane is safe and efficient when it enters service with customers. Onlookers would say that’s important now more than ever.

Quality Control Issues Arrive

2024 was initially earmarked as another essential year for Boeing and its continued rebuilding of trust and operations. Notably, focus was also placed on the certification of the two remaining MAX variants.

However, when an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX faced a door blowout shortly after departure, question marks began surrounding the plane maker. Following preliminary inspections on grounded 737-9s, loose bolts were found.

Alaska Airlines has announced the grounding of all Boeing 737-9s following a major incident occurred on one of its aircraft mid flight.
Photo credit: Rick Webb

As a result, there are substantial concerns over quality assurance for the plane maker. The FAA, airlines and suppliers are now all investigating the production process across Boeing, including the 737 family.

This means that Boeing’s priorities for the year have vastly changed. At the same time, they’ll still work to get the remaining MAX variants certified. However, this focus for the moment will undoubtedly be pushed to the side as they try to get grounded MAX aircraft back in the sky and restore the trust they’ve lost.

Leave a Reply

  1. Great article and I was just sitting here wondering how long before the 737 Max’s are all back up flying. The lack of aircraft with have a big impact on the Summer Season in Europe and beyond.

    How do most airline companies adjust to the shortage of planes these days, is there a good surplus or aircraft that can come into play?

Recent Posts

Sign Up

Stay updated with the latest developments in the aviation and aerospace sector

Share this post: