For two years, Boeing claimed the 737NG was 8% more economical (and here) than the Airbus A320. Boeing told media, analysts, everybody who would listen. Boeing illustrated the point before and after the MAX.
Here is a recent illustration; note the NG advantage over A320ceo is reduced to 6%:
And Randy Tinseth, in Randy’s Journal, writes:
Combining the seat count issue with all our latest improvements gets you to a 6 to 7 percent difference. So, if the aircraft are not at parity today, what does that say about the rest of the story? It’s always fun to have spirited debate with our competitors. But in this case, the numbers really do speak for themselves. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Our thought was, What happened to 8%? Is this a change in the Boeing messaging? So we asked Tinseth, and through a spokeswoman, the response was, “The 8 percent is our current operating cost per seat advantage over our competition and the other is a measure of fuel burn per seat.”
Airbus, as we’ve noted before, disputes Boeing’s analysis and offers up its own, where numbers are again at the forefront. A key assumption on Airbus’ part is using 157 seats for the 737-800 vs the 162 used by Boeing. Tinseth recently has this to say about that: according to Seatguru.com, Tinseth argues Boeing is closer to right than Airbus–hence his comment above.
Airbus also disputes the 20%-25% maintenance advantage Boeing claims for the 738. Boeing explained here where that comes from.
Here is an Airbus slide from the Innovation Days. Note the seat assumptions in the fine print.
The bouncing around is enough to make one airsick. This is why we remain skeptical of data from both OEMs and prefer to listen to the airlines, who tell use the two airplanes are very close.
Update, 3:30pm PDT: A reader linked this Airbus slide, which was previously posted but forgot about. It addresses Tinseth’s seat issue in the print at the bottom, and was created last year by Airbus.
Boeing never compares their 739 to the 321..That tells me even Boeing knows its a dog and will stay that way.
You obviously don’t work for an airline… The A321/A321neo and 757-200 are the only comparisons Boeing regularly makes when presenting the 737-900ER/737-9 to operators.
For these public relations campaigns, Boeing doesn’t really compare the 737-700/7 MAX to the A319ceo/neo, either (and Airbus rarely does). The A320 and 738 are the most widely sold aircraft, so that’s the convenient comparison. Don’t read anything into the absence of the A321/739 in these debates.
Money talks and b.s. walks. At the end of the day, both planes are selling in the thousands-enough said about who’s speaking the “truth”.
I have a friend who has become a very successful author of fiction. She states, however, that the greatest fiction she ever wrote was when she did PR for a major corporation. After that experience all the fiction she writes feels real. Randy Tinseth and his counterpart at AirBus probably will write blockbuster novels in a few years.
Considering that John Leahy has been writing fiction novels about Airbus since 1985, Randy has a long way to go.
Tim’s comment was amusing.
Let’s be careful about over-stepping bounds of Reader Comments by getting too personal.
Randy Tinseth in his lectures calls up images of the former GDR chief ideologue K.E. Schnitzler and his TV show “Der Schwarze Kanal” . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_schwarze_Kanal . Very popular in West Germany. You could not have satire better than what Mr. Schnitzler produced on a regular basis. ( Though the objective probably diverged vastly 😉 To summ it up : It is Pravda, the official truth.
Le matin des magiciens …. an old novel !
The Airbus slide makes absolutly no sense. The clearly state the A-320 as a 150 seater, and the B-737-400/-800 as a 144-157 seater, all in a standard 2 class configueration. They don’t state how the A-320 has a 15% fuel burn per seat advantage over the B-737-400 in the 1988-1998 time frame, then the same 15% fuel burn per seat advantage vs. the B-737-800W (with a new wing, blended winglets, more advanced engines, and much lighter materials in its construction over the B-734). Does anyone even fly the B-738W with 144-157 seats?
Also, Scott, the Boeing chart is now outdated, isn’t it? I noticed there is nothing showing, or mentioning the BATW advantage, nor does it mention anything about the bigger fan section of up to 70″ or so.
My point is the A-320NEO is almost a frozen design now, while the B-737MAX is still a major work in progress. There will be no major changes to the Leap-1A engine, while the Leap-1B is still on the drawing board. While Boeing can predict the performance, to some extent, of the B-737-8MAX, and where it wants that airplane to perform against the A-320NEO, nothing about the B-737MAX program is carved in stone yet. Between now and design freeze for the MAX, Boeing can change everything on the airplane if it wants to. Airbus doesn’t have that advantage now because to make major changes to the NEO now means a delay in that program. Boeing still has 5 years to ETS where Airbus is down to just 3 years.
AeroMexico: 126 + 24 = 150
Alaska Airlines: 141 + 16 = 157
American Airlines: 132 + 16 = 148
I don’t feel motivated to do your research for you beyond the letter “A” …
Thanks, thysi. I would like to point out any airline that puts fewer than 162 seats on the B-738W is allowing more pitch between seats for its customers. The same can be said for any airline that puts fewer than 150 seats on an A-320.
You failed to mention AA also has a 160 seat B738 configuration as well. In fact, flying on AA every few weeks (mostly their B738’s), the 160 seat (with exit rows in rows 14/15) have been the majority of flights. The B738s with the new Boeing Sky Interiors are also the the 160 seat variety-at least the ones I’ve flown on.
AS have 160 seats on one of their two B738’s configurations.
AB have 186 in one of their 2 B738 configurations.
FR have 189 seats.
What I find most interesting IMHO is IIRC, AA has ordered the A319NEO and A321NEO and tentatively have ordered the B738MAX.
The question wasn’t to find ones that had more than 160, but to point out to TB that his claim that no one has 144-157 is false.
You mention seat pitch — one interesting one is Air Berlin, as quoted by Randy, with 186 pax on 738 and 174 on A320 (both single class of LCC service). The A320 is a tolerable 32″ seat pitch — but the 738 needs a 29″ seat pitch to squeeze in those 12 extra pax!
We have not yet seen a chart with the BATW and 70 in fan data (we expect to at Boeing’s pre-air show media days next month, however).
As for the Airbus slide, the verbal commentary as the slide was show to the Airbus media days is, of course, not included. So, KCTB, your commentary is being made without the benefit of the context provided by Airbus. Airbus gave us a full briefing following ISTAT Barcelona last September in which the pluses and minuses of A320 v 737NG were shown, and we’ve published that.
Thanks, Scott. You are right, I have no idea what Airbus briefed in ralationship to that slide. I would be interesting to know how they explained the exact 15% advantage of the A-320 over both the B-734 and the B-738W, esspecially since the B-738W is a major advance over its older B-734 sister airplane.
That’s the A320neo with sharklets vs the 738W with the 15% advantage. Or so Airbus claims.
As we’ve been making the point in this post and others, it all comes down to assumptions used by Airbus to advance its message and those used by Boeing to advance its message. You know the old adage, “figures never lie but….” That’s why we like to rely on the operator, not the seller.
Future data will show a redistributive effect.
12% engine gains will split (in final outcome) into ~8% engine gains and 1.5..2.0% other gains for ~10% improvements over the basic NG 😉
The main responses from Airbus may be :
– P&W, GTF, going to win 2-3% or more VS the CFMI (And may be with an interesting maintenance gap, VS the Super heated LeapX 1B) !
– Al-Li for some parts … Airbus just firm an impressive contract, up to 200 000 Tons of AL-Li from Constellium for 10 years !
– Any weight and Aerodynamic’s improvements for a 2nd Round in 2018 … 6 years to go …
– 2-3 fuselage plugs to get the parity with the B738 seating capacity, some day, just to make Easy Jet happy with 200 pax the “Sardine-Can ” way !
The NEO’s engine fans will provide about 5% better sfc then the MAX engines
The NEO’s sharklets will provide about 3.5% better fuel efficiency, without adding OEW
On average the a320 and 738 performed about equal, depending on mission lenght. The enhancement gains of both the NEO and MAX are pretty clear. Also the resulting performance of both aircraft. It seems Boeing made the quick decision the 738NG had to significant better in hindsight to balance the later enhancements. The 6-8% advance of the NG was invented, aggressively communicated and docile reproduced by a good part of the press.
A good part of the wondering public now feels the MAX and NEO will perform about equal. Congratulations Randy. If you can’t convince them, confuse them.
But not the airlines. Even Southwest was able to negotiate alarming discounts. Slots availability works for Boeing at this moment, but sales remain unimpressive, even when Boeing takes every opportunity to suggest the balance has been restored..
Just a few facts, keesje. First, not only is WN a very loyal Boeing customer, but the are the launch customer for the B-737-8MAX (they were also the launch customer for the B-737-700NG), so they were going to get a huge discount anyway. Next the ‘general public’ couldn’t tell the difference between a B-737 and an A-320., much less understand (or care about) any performance differences between the NEO and MAX.
You said; “If you can’t convince them, confuse them”. Seems to me that could be applied equally to Airbus and Boeing, not just one side. You always doubt what Boeing says, but you take Airbuses word as the gospel.
BTW, even Airbus is saying the NEO is adding to the OEW for the A-32X series.
few people think SW ordering A320 was feasible, practicle or likely. They had no real alternative. Still they got 60% discount. Why?
better read what I said, the sharklets don’t add extra weight. The engines do, but probably less then the MAX, bridging a possible small OEW advantage the 738 might have.
me and many others want to believe what Boeing says. Unlike others my loyalty is not unlimitted. During the last 7 yrs Boeing official information made me critical. examples aren’t hard to find. And yes, lets speak this out: Airbus official information seems more credible, less aggressive and more conservative. Not what many want hear or would ever agree with, but it really seems to be the case. Boeing somehow gets away with it easier. Spreading in halftruth info and discrediting opponents are less acceptable marketing tactics in Europe. Pls Try find them, you’ll find them hard to locate. Probably a cultural thing.
I’m a bit confused why you are still throwing the discount card? All recent replies have fairly well debunked these allegations… AA 70% discount from AB. Why? (ok 67% before financing)
“better read what I said, the sharklets don’t add extra weight. The engines do, but probably less then the MAX, bridging a possible small OEW advantage the 738 might have.”
This is an absolute fabrication of facts. Airbus “ABSOLUTELY” had to increase weight with the introduction of winglets to the existing airframe. Any comment that states otherwise, is false!
And than there’s this?
“me and many others want to believe what Boeing says. Unlike others my loyalty is not unlimitted.”
“Your Loyalty” is well documented… And… I wouldn’t reach for the uninformed crowd? they, can quickly be educated…
But, as always Keesje… I enjoy your comments 🙂
“Airbus official information seems more credible, less aggressive and more conservative”
Do you have any proof of that?
The proof is in the pudding and because we say so!
Ex cathedra pronouncment is an understandable concept, isn’t it ;-?
Looking at US based “Commercial Communications” it is
a distinct language on its own. You see some uptake here
in Europe but the separation still is vast.
Having limited experience beyond this US cultural “feature”
it is not unsurprising that other communications are invariably
interpreted as newsspeak.
“The proof is in the pudding and because we say so!”
That is all you had to say, you didn’t need the rest of your comment.
The mirror needed a stand 😉
OK, Everyone: Let’s get back to the charts and the information contained therein as the focus of comments. We had our fun talking about fiction but we’re getting a little far afield here.
As you said, Boeing has not updated their chart yet. The Airbus chart, without knowing the briefing/discussion with it is unrealistic. The new chart you posted, comparing both versions of each airplane is also difficult to interpet without knowing more about where the information came from and in what context. It also goes off into areas not discussed by the OEMs, like 180 seat A-320s and 189 seat B-738s. But it does have a qualifier the Boeing does not give the A-320NEO and its sharklets performance of UP TO 3.5% reduction in fuel burn. I find this interesting that Boeing would do that because the NEO program has always included the sharklets. Perhaps this is because the sharklet program (which is a seperate program from the NEO) is just now entering flight testing.
a) “UP TO 3.5%” – a lot of the percentages on both sides are “up to” values, so it’s curious you’d point this “UP TO” out in particular. Curious especially as first flight tests of A320s with sharklets indicate better than expected results. (http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/avd_05_23_2012_p02-01-460724.xml)
b) Sharklets are not “just now entering flight testing.” They entered flight testing in late November 2011. More than half a year ago. Their planned EIS (on CEO) is actually later this year. The only recent development regarding flight testing is that the first *new-built* sharklet-equipped A320 took to the skies.
c) Boeing is only now nearing the exact thrust range definitions for MAX. Given that position, to give Airbus ZERO credit for sharklets (instead of the “up to 3.5%” Airbus claims) because sharklets only started flight-testing in late 2011 would be silly on so many levels I can hardly begin to sort through all of them.
The sharklets, at best, will only bring the A-320CEO into parity with the B-737NG-W.
Don’t be so cock-sure, KC.
That may or may not be the case, as Scott already hinted at.
But: What has that to do with the “up to 3.5% [improvement over the non-sharklet A320]” you mentioned, and which Boeing isn’t giving Airbus any credit for in their comparisons?
Just trying to picture your reaction if Airbus chose to not acknowledge in their PR charts the benefit the 737NG-W has over the 737NG (non-Winglet).
Then the comparison would be more even.
“I’m a bit confused why you are still throwing the discount card? All recent replies have fairly well debunked these allegations… AA 70% discount from AB. Why? (ok 67% before financing)”
If Airbus would offer Southwest 65% discount that would seem explainable, similar AA. Breaking into Boeing fortresses. Offering these discounts to top up large existing fleets is a different story IMO.
“This is an absolute fabrication of facts. Airbus “ABSOLUTELY” had to increase weight with the introduction of winglets to the existing airframe. Any comment that states otherwise, is false!”
“The Sharklets measure 2.4 metres in height, with their 200-kg. installed total weight offset by weight savings being introduced throughout the A320 Family airframe.”
Another defector likely at Farnborough..
I really don’t understand why people get all hot and bothered by the claims of either OEM. They’re all equally true, they’re all equal lies.
Point is BA and AB MARKETING department are not in the business of telling truths – they’re selling planes. It is impossible to truly compare two different products, and those departments are not even trying – just look at the charts. They can’t both be right and I bet they’re both wrong.
You want to discuss numbers, go talk to an engineer. He (/she) will not make them dance and sing – you want to be lied to and have a nice cappuccino, go talk to marketing.
The proof being in the tasting, the market shows clearly both products are very successful. I personally preferred to fly 320’s because they tended to be younger – that difference is just about gone, and from my personal (biased, limited and subjective) observations it will be completely gone in ~5 years.
AND vice versa!
OK boys the bottom line is this – PRICE! If the aircraft are within the same small percentage of fuel burn and operating cost then price, money paid out to obtain aircraft is all that really matters. You can kit around the numbers all you wish but most airlines want whatever they can get at a cheap price. That being said, then how much does the framers need to spent to bring the aircraft to market, so how much can they cut the price to move the product and gain large sale number? Also things like obtaining aircraft from leasing agent’s plays into this equation. In my opinion based on 40+ years of aerospace/aircraft engineering is that the 737 MAX is going to cost Big B way too much to compete with the A320neos and make a profit. Big B should have developed new Single Aisles to replace the 737 & 757 and left the plastic airplane alone.
” If the aircraft are within the same small percentage of fuel burn and operating cost then price, money paid out to obtain aircraft is all that really matters. ”
what if the aircraft are not within a small percentage of fuel burn and operating costs, contrary to the NG and CEO.. A situation hard to accept..
keesje, Airbus claims the A-320NEO is 15% more fuel efficent than the A-320CEO (which has not had a PIP in at least 10 years). Boeing claims the B-737MAX is 13.5% more fuel efficent than the B-737NG (which includes all of its PIPs). So, both the NEO and MAX maintane the very small percentage in fuel burn efficency between the two lines. Speculation on the differences is not fact, it is a guess at best, and blinders at worse.
for a recent PIP. If you search http://www.cfm56.com for -5b pips you get
a reasonable amount of links presented ( about twice of what you find for a -7B search 😉
Additionally the A320 family didn’t get lighter from just standing in a sandstorm.
To conclude: Boeing seems to feel pressed to present a carefull selection of
missleading information packaged as objective analysis ( Do they actually still
understand the meaning of “objective” ? ) The lack in cloaking rigor indicates that
no longer is a professional audience targeted but only the great unwashed public.
Sigh…how do you stand it Scott? This is like watching (ok reading) two kids arguing that their shiny toy is better than the other kids shiny toy. It’s tough to read through all the nya, nyas…
Bottom line? Both A and B have competitive products in the NB market. As 2013 approaches, the MAX will be finalized and will likely be +/- 1-3% of the NEO. If not, then pricing will make an impact and B will accept lower margins and still make a profit because the production line and increased volume will allow it to maintain market share.
The real battle will be in the WB market…
I do my share of eye-rolling. But as long as everyone stays within my rules for Reader Comments, I’m not going to interfere.
I do agree on that in that there are a number of carriers which use less than the 162 number Boeing uses.
Regarding the seat pitch and # of seats, even Airbus has mentioned 29′ pitch with a maximum of 180 pax in an all-economy configuration*. (*-wikipedia)
Scott, Without firm comparisons , how do the carriers make their decisions or committments? Are the contracts based on performance promises and price scaled up or down accordingly. Or do the contracts contain many different formulas which are determined by negotiation.
It seems that when you are buying millions or billions of dollars worth of aircraft and the servicing of these “machines” you would want assurances that what you are buying is performing in the way that has been promised and , if not, there would be reimbursement or compensation..or lawsuits follow.
I understand this is a complex question, but you or others may have some insight into the process
Performance guarantees are typically outlined within ranges. For example (and this is not to be applied to any airplane–it’s just for example, nor are the figures given to be taken as gospel):
Fuel performance: within +/- 5% of a specified number
Range: within +/- 5% of the advertised range
Weights: Again, within a range
and so on.
Pricing is based on the above. In some cases (as with MAX at the moment), there may be a two-tier pricing. If the airplane meets the performances in “package A”, the price is X. However, if the performance falls within parameters of a “package B”, the price is Y. Package B would be short of Package A, so price Y would be less than price X to cover the shortfall. I suppose the conversely, if a plane bettered performance guarantees by a specified margin, the price might be higher to the airline.
In all cases, there are formulae for price escalations (basically cost-of-goods inflation). There are also specific progress payment schedules based on percentages of the purchase price, such as 1% down on the order, and PDPs (pre-delivery payments) of typically 3% and 5% at specific intervals up to a total of 30% before the delivery, and the 70% due on delivery.
Compensation for delays or performance shortages: some contracts have specific formulae; others simply refer to legal remedies; others might have different compensation considerations. WRT delays, in the past delays such as experienced on the 787 program (thee+ years depending on where in the stream a customer is) weren’t contemplated, so once the provisions in the contract were passed, new compensation packages had to be negotiated by Boeing. Compensation could take many forms. While most people assumed cash compensation, in fact this could be: cash; additional discounts on the affected airplane already ordered; deeper discounts on future airplane orders, and these aren’t necessarily confined to the subject airplane but could be other airplanes (such as the A330 for A380 delays or 767 for 787 delays or sharper discounts on 777, 737, A320, etc.) parts, maintenance, training, and provisioning, etc. There is wide latitude for the parties to reach a mutually acceptable compensation package.
Residual value and buy-back guarantees. The OEMs are loath to give these, but they are not unknown.
Engines: It is not unknown for the OEMs to discount engines as much as 80% (or even give them to the customer) in exchange for long-term MRO contracts.
This is probably just the tip of the iceberg.
Scott, I know it was just an example, but would the performance figures really have an error margin as high as 5%? Given that we’re not talking much more than that between NG and MAX, I would like to think that as an airline executive I would be able to demand better compliance from both A or B.
I don’t know the range of “fudge factor”. I think it’s more in the 3% range, but as noted and acknowledged I was just giving an example.
Thank you for the quick and informative response. As in all negotiations, there are many ways to come to an agreement and the outline you give above presents a number of options and alternatives that can be applied.
The Carriers must be experienced in this process and understand the horsetrading that goes on. Timing and the slots available must play a part and if the Carrier is interested in purchasing other future models that would have bearing.
Its all too complex to simplify but somehow or other planes are bought and sold and I am sure the process addresses many of the issues raised in trying to compare the different offerings
Looking into the future, taking into account the grown differences between the A320 and 737, this will probably result in Boeing becoming the first mover into a next generation 150+ seat aircraft. And Airbus looking, learning and talking to the supply chain and airlines and coming up with a responds ~ 2 years later. When that will be depends on MAX sales, or lack of them.. I can imagine Boeing is already investing in it, in secrecy, because leaking would be killing for the MAX.
Of interest (I was bored). Looking at seat guru comparisons for all airlines they have listed for a320 and B737-800…
Single class a320 seats: average 172.27 n=11 airlines
Two class a320 seats: average 147.778 n=27
Three class a320 seats: average 145.25 n=4
Single class b737-800 seats: average 183.2 n=5
Two class b737-800 seats: average 159.4375 n=16
Three class b737-800 seats: 160 n=1
Based on how the airlines configure their planes, Randy appears to be correct presuming seatguru is accurate. There were some outliers that might pull the numbers slightly to one side or the other but they appeared to be distributed on both A and B…It also may not take into account recent seat changes by A or B as I took a320 (any) and compared to B737-800 (any)…
I’v been in a 174 seat A320, seat pitch was unacceptable for me.
BTW I think we shouldn’t been drawn to much in the per seat comparisons only. It would e.g. mean the 737-900 is better then the 737-800. It’s a bit more complicated.
E.g. the A320 have slightly better engine sfc and seem to weigh a bit less the 737-8. Guess what the trip costs are with e.g. 150 passengers for both. That is why Boeing loves to use per seat costs, assuming 100% load factors on the slightly longer 737-800..
Tricks on the range too. The 737 simply has bigger fuel tanks, it has nothing to do with efficiency..
anyway I am of the opinion Airbus should stretch the A320 😉
Thanks Keesje, you are right !
Much secrecy here around …
Beginning with P&W strangely quiet for the PW1100G issue, looks like they deserve some surprises, but John Leahy & Airbus, do not want to make it public now !
More … A huge order for AL-Li, to Constellium, with not matching applications, for such quantities, from Airbus , so wings or no wings (Skin) for the NEO, and when !
Also, a strange timing for Airbus, limiting his production to 42 A/C, until the A320NEO output soars, I have just the idea they may be slightly ahead for the EIS (Heavily depending on P&W engines ) !
And the Randy agitation is a clear signal he is struggling a lot more than awaited !
I think the MAX may be short lived … the next NB from Boeing, will come soon !
Scott, et al – does anybody have some credible data on the weight of the 738 vs. 320? I have always heard the 737 has a weight advantage and the 320 has more efficient engines. Lower weight looks better for short range (perhaps why Boeing uses shorter trip miles) and SFC is more important on longer flights (which is why AB uses the longer trips in it’s comparisions).
I can’t buy the Sharklets don’t add weight – it increases the size of the wing and the wing structure needs to be beefed up to carry the extra weight at the tip. AB may be pulling weight out somewhere else to be neutral, but the sharklets themselves have to add weight.
Weights on are the Airbus and Boeing websites, specifications.
“The Sharklets measure 2.4 metres in height, with their 200-kg. installed total weight offset by weight savings being introduced throughout the A320 Family airframe.”
IMO Boeing should do further modifications to snoop of about 3- 4% sfc, halfing the gab created by the NEOs 10 inch extra fan and adding sharklets.. However it has become clear they go to great lenghts not having to raise the MLG and they probably have good reasons for that.
Ignoring the direct technical issues of extending the MLG:
How much (design/maintainance) hassle and excess weight increase would installing slides for the overwing exits create? ( currently waived because of the low wing )
IMO that should be doable, if needed for the 2-3 inch, a simple RFI to the folks that supply slides for other aircraft should give an idea..
I think the main issue is that there isn’t any room left, you can’t remove the keelbeam or easily move the MLG hinges without redesigning the entire wingbox area..
I think the Max is really one makeover too much for a 1960´s frame. The expense is huge and I doubt they will get even 10% from the max. They should have done the NSA long ago, it would have been a mature design by now.
There’s nothing more fun than reading when (un)intentional factually wrong posts are dashed with real facts.
With all these operating cost comparisons, the seat count is often what makes
the difference and yet is NOT always taken into account!
Isn’t it about time, that the authorities worldwide, agree on a minimum seat-pitch
in Y-class, at 31 to 32 inches, for safety reasons?
I am 6’8″ tall, but even the average person will slam his head into the structure
of the seat in front of him, during an otherwise serviveable crash landing!
I think that you are supposed to “bump” the seat in front of you with your head if there is a crash landing. Hence the “Brace” position, the head is directly in contact with the seat in front, and does not acquire velocity relative to said seat, and the rest of your body (restrained by the belt.) That’s why some seats in front rows, or in first class, have airbags in the seat belt for instance (or is it still in development?) …because there is no seat in front to stop your head…
So is the A320 lighter than the 738 as som claim? Too much fanboyism on this site imo, hard to get true information, a bit sad.
CFM Engines 41 244 kg (90 927 lb)
IAE Engines 41 345 kg (91 150 lb)
From Boeing 737.pdf (retrieved May 14)
CFM Engine 41 413kg (91 300 lb)
going by WP data the -5B and the -7B engines are on par weightwise.
OEW defines for A and B the same ? not really sure.
737-800 OEW from 2006:
CFM Engine 41,720kg (91,990lb)
300kg weight loss in 6 years ( or a change of def )
Read an article in a german publication recently about developement at Recaro. http://www.focus.de/reisen/fliegen/flugzeugsitze-die-zukunft-wiegt-5-4-kilo_aid_486308.html
current new line @9.1kg/pp down from 15..13kg/pp and potential towards 5.3kg/pp in the future depending on fuel versus seating pricing.
Currently the A320CEO and B738NG are commercially on par from the airliners point of view. This can be determined from the sales-figures. So taking all costs in account they are more or less even. Whatever A or B (or the fanboys) are saying about which airplane is better is irrelevant, just look at the real world figures! The only thing we know for sure are the sales figures for the CEO/NG which shows that both products are equal (taking everything into account). So we should consider these baselines products equal (not necessarily on fuel efficiency, but on all aspects).
So the only relevant question should be, based on the improvement A and B are applying on the NEO/Max, what are the improvements/changes compared to the baseline (=A320CEO and B738NG). So for example if the NEO is 15% more efficient than the CEO and the MAX 10% more efficient than the NG then this will result in a shift towards A or this will be compensated by price (as shown by AeroTurboPower).
Once again to the seat count: R. Tinseth made a good point with using seatguru. However, there is always a counter claim. Airlines know the differences between aircraft and usually factor them in their operation. So some might use the B738 and A320 for different routes and target markets. Air Berlin for examples preferres the A320 on longer routes. Still, there is no doubt that the B737-800 seats more. While I would see this advantage in the vicinity of 9 seats.
I think the NSA will be a larger aircraft than the 737, there will be no model smaller than the 737-700, that market belongs to other now, more and more competition here, E-jets, C300, MS21, Super jet etc The base model will probably be in the size of the 737-800 or a tad larger even. A+B can only grow upwards in NBs in the future, as A300, 310,330 and 767 get vacated from the market. However this means they will fly larger frames on short routes.
I guess there is a lot of planning and brainstorming going on at both A+B now.