The only major US carrier not operating the 737 MAX, Delta Air Lines would be very close to placing an order for up to 100 Boeing model aircraft, Reuters sources said on Friday.
Delta has preferred to order aircraft from Airbus, including the A220, a jetliner that strained its relationship with Boeing after the planemaker challenged the deal in court.
Now the situation seems to have changed, with the airline showing interest in including a significant amount of 737 MAX 10 jets, for up to 210 seats, in the potential order.
Neither Delta nor Boeing declined to comment.
The MAX 10 was developed to try to contain the growth in sales of the A321neo, an aircraft that has dominated orders at Airbus. However, Boeing is struggling to certify the new jet, which is expected to enter service in 2023.
Boeing is trying to prevent the 737 MAX 10 from being included in a new cockpit safety alert procedure, which could delay the certification process at the FAA, the US civil aviation agency.
The authority has been more discerning about certifying Boeing’s aircraft after the 737 MAX and 787 issues.
One of two 737 MAX 10 prototypes has been seen in flight tests around Edwards Air Force Base, California. The aircraft first flew in June 2021.