Boeing's 737 Max 10, the largest member of its best-selling single-aisle airplane family, took off on its maiden flight on Friday, in a further step towards recovering from the safety grounding of a smaller model.
However, the market opportunity for the 737 Max 10 is constrained by the jet's range of 3,300 nautical miles (6,100 km), which falls short of the A321neo's 4,000 nm.
Boeing has carried out design and training changes on the Max family, which returned to U.S. operations in December.
While the smaller Max 8 is Boeing's fastest-selling jet, slow sales of the Max 9 and 10 models have put Boeing at a disadvantage to the A321neo.
Boeing has abandoned plans to tinker with the 737 Max 10 design, but is weighing a bolder plan to replace the single-aisle 757, which overlaps with the top end of the Max family.
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