Delta CEO confident about Max 10 order

Delta airlines airplanes are seen parked at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.

Camilo Freedman | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Delta Air Lines expects to move forward with an order of Boeing 737 Max 10 aircraft as the plane manufacturer struggles with issues surrounding the Max 9, the carrier’s CEO told CNBC on Friday.

The airline ordered 100 Max 10s in 2022 and deliveries are expected to begin in 2025, its first Boeing order in more than a decade. The Max 10, the largest model of the 737 Max, has not yet been approved by regulators.

“We certainly will not take them ’til we have 1,000% confidence that that plane is fully secure, fully safe and … everyone has signed off to that,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian told CNBC’s Scott Wapner.

The 737 Max, Boeing’s best-selling aircraft, has had a troubled history since deliveries first began in 2017. It was grounded for almost two years in the United States after two Max aircraft crashed: one in Indonesia in October 2018 and another in Ethiopia in March 2019.

Read more CNBC airline news

Most recently, the FAA grounded the Max 9 after a door plug blew off an Alaska Airlines flight on Jan. 5. Boeing this week appointed an independent advisor to lead a review of the Max 9 while inspections of the aircraft continue.

Delta flies over 500 Boeing jets a day, but does not fly either the Max or the 787, according to Bastian. Alaska and United are the only two U.S. airlines that operated the now-grounded Max 9.

Boeing has lost ground to competitor Airbus as a result of the issues with the Max. It had a roughly 42% share of narrow- and wide-body deliveries last year.

“Boeing is such a vital part of our industry, our history, and we need them to succeed,” Bastian said.

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