Industry Will Boeing announce the B797 in Farnborough?
Experts and media are speculating whether the US aircraft manufacturer Boeing will announce a new Boeing 797 project during the Farnborough Air Show in the next week.
It has been widely reported, that Boeing is currently working on a New Midsize Airplane – the NMA. While the media has tagged the potential successor of the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 as “Boeing 797”, it still remains unclear when Boeing will finally announce the new aircraft.
Next week, the Farnborough International Airshow (FIA18) will kick off. But is there a possibility of Boeing announcing the 797? There were speculations, that the manufacturer is already preparing the announcement of its Middle of the Market (MOM) aircraft, eventhough Boeing CEO Denis Muilenburg´s stated that Boeing would not announce the 797 until early 2019.
However, it recently came out, that the U.S. - American manufacturer quietly secured the “797” trademark back in August 2017, confirming speculations of a new aircraft in Boeing´s portfolio.
The manufacturer is in desperate need of a new product, that satisfies the gap between the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767. The MOM aircraft is expected to be able to accommodate between 220 and 270 passengers with a single-aisle.
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian has hinted last month, that the airline was in discussions with Boeing over a potential successor of its Boeing 757-300s and Boeing 767-300s. United and American Airlines stated public interest in a NMA as well.
Airbus on the other hand has developed the A321LR (Longer Range), that is currently building momentum with new orders. Airbus said in 2014, that the A321LR would become the ideal successor of the aging Boeing 757-200. The LR has an increased Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 97 tonnes and is most likely to transport 206 passengers in a two-class configuration. The first A321LR had its first flight in January 2018 and already flew a long-haul route from Europe to New York.
With the simple, yet effective changes on the basic A321, Airbus has saved huge amounts of development costs. If Boeing announces the 797 on FIA18, it would be in need of early commitments for the aircraft, otherwise development costs could have a negative impact on the program.
Moreover, the MOM is not expected to be flying by 2025, at which point airlines would be forced to already have decided future fleet plans.
Boeing will not only have to address the problem of the New Midsize Airplane as fast as possible, but it has to focus on its market share as well, as Airbus has recently completed the C-Series partnership with Bombardier and introduced the A220-100 and A220-300. In order to stay competitive, it is tied down to a possible partnership agreement with Embraer for the E190 and E2 regional aircraft family.
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