By Bjorn Fehrm
25 Feb 2015: Speculation continues to ramp up during the last weeks and months about what Boeing is up to in the 180 to 250 seat sector and what might be Airbus’ response on top of the A321LR. The segment is not well covered today within production aircraft where 737-900ER and the forthcoming MAX 9 cover up to 210 seats and A321-200 and A321neo up to 220 seats. Both fly their passengers up to a realistic mission of 3000nm, i.e. transcontinental USA.
The next in production aircraft are 787-8 and A330-200 at 240 to 280 seats. These are long range dual aisle aircraft with empty weights more than double of the former pair. The 787-8 and A330-200 per seat economics on shorter missions are therefore in another ball game.
The only aircraft that currently bridges this gap is the out-of-production Boeing 757 and there has been much debate how this shall be replaced. We have covered this question in a number or articles focusing on in turn:
We also covered the study work underway at Boeing to cover this segment. We will now dig deeper into this corner after Boeing has unequivocally stated it does not see a re-engine 757 covering this segment and any aircraft that the airlines want should be a bit larger than the 757.
Over a series of articles we will cover:
The market segment and how it is covered today and tomorrow with existing our announced designs
What are design parameters that decide whether you go single or dual aisle?
180 to 250 seats and 3000 to 5000nm, will it be covered by single or dual aisle or both? What’s the economics of these alternatives?