Macron kicks off Paris Air Show with airborne entrance

That raised questions among Wall Street and airlines about whether Boeing is stretching its workhorse jet too far to compete with Airbus.

The 737 Max 10, which will be Boeing's first new model since the unveiling of the 777X series at the Dubai Air Show in 2013, will be 1.68 metres longer than the Max 9, now the biggest member of the re-engined 737 family, which was launched alongside the Max 7 and 8 in 2011.

Single-aisle planes for short and medium distances are the hottest ticket in the world's civil aviation industry, with airline demand for models in the Airbus A320 family giving the European company an edge, for now, over its American opponent which is racing to return in force to the mid-range segment.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes Chief Executive Kevin McAllister said the USA planemaker hopes to conclude a three-year study of a gap between narrowbody and wide-body jets soon, but declined to say when it might take the next steps towards launching a possible new "mid-market" aircraft family. The 737 MAX 10 will have the lowest seat-mile cost of any single-aisle airplane ever produced.

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The airshow comes a little too early for either Russia's Irkut, with its MC-21, or China's Comac, with the much-flagged C919, to be able to showcase their aircraft there, but both will leave little doubt that they expect to win a big slice of the aviation pie in the future.

"Our customers told us to build it bigger", said Kevin McAllister, Boeing Commercial Airplane chief executive Kevin McAllister on Monday.

The first member of the Max family, the Max 8, entered service last month, flying with a Malaysian low-priced airline, Malindo Air.

In order to carry the extra payload, the Max 10 will be equipped with larger, higher-thrust engines.

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He said: 'The Max 10 is essentially the same size as the A321 but has about 5 per cent better operating costs per seat so it's a very attractive airplane.

Boeing's latest 787 model, the 787-10, and Airbus' answer to it, the A350-1000, the latest version of the long-delayed Airbus wide-body will get attention. The last event in 2015 brought orders for 421 planes worth $57 billion for Airbus and orders for 331 planes worth $50 billion for Boeing.

There will also be some 200,000 regular visitors, many of whom will come especially for spectacular displays of supersonic military hardware as fast combat planes break the sound barrier.

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