United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) has removed the B737-10 from its internal fleet plans but, for now, is not cancelling its order for the "great aircraft" and is "rooting for" its quick certification, the carrier's executives said during an annual investor call on January 23, 2024.

"We are not cancelling the order. We are taking it out of our internal plans. And we'll be working on what that means exactly with Boeing. But Boeing is not going to be able to meet their contractual deliveries on at least many of those airplanes. And I'll just leave it at that," Chief Executive Officer Scott Kirby said.

The carrier has a firm order for 292 B737-10s, over a quarter of all units of the type contracted by airlines, making it the variant's largest customer. However, the new issues with the door plugs on the B737-9 were the "straw that broke the camel's back with believing that the MAX 10 will deliver on the schedule we had hoped for," according to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Mike Leskinen.

United Airlines is still supportive of Boeing in the ongoing certification of the MAX 10.

Although the MAX 10 will have five pairs of emergency exits, like the B737-8-200 and the B737-9, it will not have the same type of door plug as the -9.

The carrier's current B737 MAX fleet comprises eighty B737-8s and seventy-nine -9s. The latter have all been grounded since the January 5 incident with an Alaska Airlines aircraft, which suffered an in-flight door blowout. As the largest operator of the -9, United Airlines is heavily affected by the grounding given the type accounts for 8% of its capacity. The carrier estimates, based on current assumptions, that the grounding will increase its unit cost by 3 percentage points in the first quarter of 2024.

As of January 22, United expected a further sixty-four B737 MAX deliveries by the end of 2024 for a total fleet size of 223 aircraft.

"Thirty-one of those [aircraft] being MAX 9. It is unrealistic at this time to believe all of those aircraft will deliver as currently planned... We also expect a reduction in orders and deliveries from Boeing in 2025. This will require reworking our fleet plan and we will share the details when that work is complete," Leskinen said.

Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci has told NBC News in his first post-January 5 interview that the carrier found "some loose bolts on many" of its B737-9s during recent inspections.

"I'm more than frustrated and disappointed. I am angry. This happened to Alaska Airlines. It happened to our guests and happened to our people. And my demand on Boeing is what are they going to do to improve their quality programs in-house," he said.

On top of its one B737-8 (in service) and sixty-five grounded -9s, Alaska Airlines has outstanding firm orders for nineteen -8s, sixteen -9s, and forty-five -10s, the ch-aviation fleets module shows.

Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson), which has not yet taken any B737 MAX but has a firm order for 100 -10s, remains invested in the type but has demanded "1000% confidence" in its safety before deliveries start.