Boeing will offer a new narrowbody — It’s official… maybe.

Speaking at the Cowen Aerospace/Defense Conference in New York today, Boeing President and CEO James McNerney said the company would replace its 737 family of narrowbodies with an entirely new airplane rather than attempt to re-engine its existing lineup as Airbus has chosen to do with the A320neo. However, having said, “We’re going to do a new airplane,” he then backed off somewhat, adding: “We’re not done evaluating this whole situation yet, but our current bias is to not re-engine, is to move to a whole new airplane at the end of the decade, the beginning of the next decade.”

 

McNerney provided no details about specifications, but was willing to address the question of the effect of a gap of some four years between service entry of the A320neo (scheduled for 2016), and service entry of the proposed new Boeing narrowbody. “It’s our judgment that our customers will wait for us, rather than move to an airplane that will obsolete itself when [Airbus moves to] a new airplane… I feel pretty comfortable we can defend our customer base, both because they’re not going ahead of us, they’re catching up to us, and because we’re going to be doing a new airplane that will go beyond the capability of what the neo can do.”

 

Time to start thinking more seriously about freighter-converted 737-700s and 737-800s

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