By Scott Hamilton
Feb. 6, 2020, © Leeham News: Boeing will decide to proceed with the launch of the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA).
These are the two popular options discussed yesterday at the annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance in Lynnwood (WA).
Aerospace analyst Ken Herbert of Canaccord Genuity believes Boeing will launch the NMA.
Analyst Rob Epstein of Bank of America Merrill Lynch believes Boeing will go with the Future Small Airplane (FSA), a fresh design that is similar in size to the 757-200 and 757-300.
Consultants Kevin Michaels of Aerodynamic Advisory and Michel Merluzeau of AIR voted for the NMA. Consultant Richard Aboulafia of The Teal Group voted for the FSA.
The debate over the long-running deliberation of Boeing whether to launch the NMA ratcheted up when Boeing CEO David Calhoun announced Jan. 29 that he suspended the study on the NMA and launched a review of the airplane and its target market.
LNA heard long ago that Calhoun, at the time the lead director of the Board of Directors, did not favor the NMA.
Epstein wrote several research notes outlining the virtue of the NMA. After the PNAA panel vote, he told LNA he thinks Boeing will pursue the FSA because he doesn’t believe Calhoun supports the NMA.
Merluzeau has long been a proponent of NMA and believes, despite the turmoil over the MAX, that Boeing will proceed with the twin aisle program.
Aboulafia doesn’t believe Boeing can develop a twin aisle airplane with single aisle operating costs. (LNA’s Aircraft Performance Model and engineering analysis concludes Boeing can.)
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