Dec. 28, 2014: Two challenges to the duopoly of Airbus and Boeing in the 150-220 seat single-aisle sector move forward in development in 2015, but neither is in a position to be a threat for the balance of this decade, nor even in the next.
Both challenges, the COMAC C919 from China, and the Irkut MC-21 from Russia, will for various reasons fall short of the Airbus A320/321 and Boeing 737-8/9 and plans to design the next generation new single-aisle airplane.
The C919’s chief advantage was eliminated when Airbus and Boeing moved to reengine the A320 and 737 families.
C919 retains pricing advantage but won’t overcome duopoly dominance.
By the time the C919 enters service, Airbus and Boeing will have the second generation of LEAP and GTF engines available.
The MC-21 takes into account better passenger comfort through a wider fuselage, but engines will be no better than those used on Airbus and Boeing.
The MC-21 sales potential will be highly limited because Russia still hasn’t become a full trading partner due to political direction.