Here is Flight Global’s story with a couple of artist renderings of the airplane.
Boeing made it official this morning: launch of the 737NE (New Engine) has been approved, bypassing the Authority to Offer.
Boeing said it has commitments for 496 NEs from five airlines. Only American Airlines has been announced, for 100. We expect Southwest Airlines to be another. Delta Air Lines’ order for 100 737-900ERs did not include conversion rights.
Boeing claims the 737NE will be 7% more efficient operating costs than the A320neo, but in its announcement today did not detail how. Boeing also says the 737NE will have 16% lower fuel burn than today’s A320 and 4% lower than the neo.
At the pre-Paris Air Show briefing, however, Boeing indicated that the cost advantage came from the 737-800’s 12-seat advantage over the 150-seat A320neo; that Boeing assumed performance improvement packages for the 737NE by entry-into-service and none for the A320neo; and instead of the 15% fuel reduction Airbus claims for the A320neo, Boeing assumed only 13%. Boeing also calculated ownership costs for both airplanes and gave the 737-800NE lower maintenance costs than for the A320neo.
“We are seeing overwhelming demand for this new and improved version of the 737,” said Jim Albaugh, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, in the press release.
The 737NE will be powered by the CFM LEAP-1B, but Boeing didn’t reveal the fan size or any other technical details in the press release. EIS is scheduled for 2017, a year later than many thought and two years after the A320neo–which has a promised EIS of October 2015.