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Air Lease Corporation drops ‘MAX’ branding

written by Hannah Dowling | February 5, 2021

US-based aircraft lessor Air Lease Corporation appears to have joined the list of companies and airlines distancing themselves from the controversial 737 ‘MAX’ branding.

ALC announced this week the delivery of two new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to Canadian low-cost carrier Sunwing Airlines.

However, the name ‘MAX’ is noticeably absent from all public announcements on the matter.

Instead, ALC chose to refer to the aircraft as its formal name, simply the 737-8.

“ALC is pleased to announce these two new Boeing 737-8 deliveries to Sunwing Airlines today,” ALC chief executive and president John Plueger said in the statement announcing the delivery.

“These aircraft mark ALC’s first 737-8 deliveries since the grounding and will provide state-of-the-art efficiency, cabin comfort, and advancement of Sunwing’s environmental sustainability initiatives.”

Meanwhile, a statement from Sunwing Airlines president Mark Williams was also printed on the announcement statement, and similarly omitted the MAX name.


“We thank ALC for the delivery of two new Boeing 737-8 aircraft, and look forward to integrating them into our existing fleet,” he said.

“The new planes provide advanced technology, comfort and fuel efficiency, and will undoubtedly offer Sunwing Airlines customers an enhanced travel experience when they are placed into commercial service.”

The omissions are largely not surprising, in light of comments made by ALC CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy at the Airlines Economics conference in January 2020.

“We’ve asked Boeing to get rid of that word MAX. I think that word MAX should go down in the history books as a bad name for an aircraft,” Udvar-Hazy said.

“The MAX brand is damaged and there is really no reason for it.”

ALC’s move follows in the footsteps of many airlines and companies that have similarly chosen to subtly remove the ‘MAX’ name from public statements in relation to the aircraft.

In November 2020, World of Aviation reported that a joint statement from Boeing and Polish airline Enter Air over the sale of four MAX jets to the carrier seemingly only referred to the jet as the 737-8.

Simultaneously, Air Canada chose to refer to the jet the same way in its quarterly results announcement, only making reference to the MAX name once, in the footnotes.

Industry sources familiar with the branding said at that time that they believe the name will likely be phased out over time, as Boeing and airlines alike attempt to distance themselves from the MAX label.

They stated that we would likely see a lot more emphasis placed on the official names of the variants, like ‘737-7’ or ‘737-8’.

“You will see the MAX name used less frequently,” one of the sources reportedly told Reuters, while another anticipates it will be phased out entirely over the coming years.

“If Boeing’s customers want it dropped, it will be dropped,” a third source said, adding that some key “customers are saying the name MAX is tainted”.

Despite the rumours of a rebrand, Boeing chief executive David Calhoun said in December 2020 that the company had no intentions of rebranding the jet, despite its negative associations following two fatal crashes and a near two-year global grounding.

“There is no rebranding going on,” Calhoun said. “There’s nothing cute going on.”

Independent business valuation consultant Brand Finance last year estimated the MAX’s problems had wiped $7.5 billion off the value of Boeing’s corporate image.

Air Lease Corporation drops ‘MAX’ branding Comment

  • Michael


    An old saying “You can put lipstick on a pig but its still a pig!”

Comments are closed.


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