Boeing’s ambitions for a midrange plane may be the right idea at the wrong time—again. Last year, the Chicago-based manufacturer started conversations with customers about building such a jet with a single-aisle cabin. Then, during the fourth-quarter earnings presentation in late January, Chief Executive David Calhoun all but confirmed that the company’s next jet would indeed address the “middle of the market” between long international flights and short-haul domestic ones.
This appears to end speculation that Boeing could prioritize a replacement for the troubled 737 MAX, which is now flying again. It is a good call not to undermine MAX sales with talk of a substitute.
Last week, the buzz increased after trade journal Aviation Week reported that the new jet could instead be a two-aisle model, reviving the so-called New Midsize Airplane project that Boeing abandoned when Mr. Calhoun took over last year. This time, though, the program wouldn’t just have two variants seating 225 and 275 people, but also a third, smaller one.
Excerpt from WSJ
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