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How did it happen that Boeing, after bold masterstrokes with 777 and 787, went so pathetic and wrong with 737 MAX? A change at executive level?

No, the answer is that Boeing DID develop a very successful single-aisle, short haul to medium haul jet - the 757. It cured many of the problems with the 737, including the very low wings and an inability to accommodate high-bypass engines. It had triple the cockpit volume too, so it could handle the growing space of computers and screens over time.

But, Boeing has a HUGE customer in Southwest Airlines. And Southwest didn’t want to buy the 757, because THAT would mean retraining and certifying their flightcrews. So Boeing did the dollarwise decision - they stopped 757 production, and built the 737NG and MAX instead.

So the industry is stuck with the 50 year old, obsolete 737, all because of Southwest Airlines demands.

Boeing’s current 737 problems come DIRECTLY from their decision to assuage Southwest Airlines, and their decision not to buy the 757 instead. Some Boeing sales guy thinks he’s a “genius”, for getting the Southwest orders (and probably very well compensated for it), but the industry is stuck with the obsolete 737, well past its sell-by date.


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