By Vincent Valery
May 10, 2021, © Leeham News: Boeing has been studying the launch of a clean-sheet design aircraft for at least a decade. Studies included a single-aisle design but favored a twin-aisle concept before the 737 MAX launch in 2011. As time went on, the twin-aisle concept morphed into a focus on 767-sized dual-aisle with the New Midmarket Airplane (NMA).
The combination of the 737 MAX crisis, Calhoun's arrival as CEO, and the COVID-19 pandemic led Boeing to shelve plans to launch the NMA in early 2020. However, the American OEM hasn’t stood idle despite sizable layoffs and R&D budget cuts.
LNA reported Boeing's renewed focus on dual-aisle design and production systems and studied the tradeoffs between a single- and dual-aisle. The NMA has morphed into the concept of a New Boeing Airplane (NBA).
A critical mass of airlines needs to be willing and able to buy a new aircraft to justify a launch. Most observers agree that Boeing needs to launch a new plane to address the weakening market share in the large single-aisle market. However, there isn't a consensus whether a single- or dual-aisle is the way to go.
LNA analyses in this article the design preferences of the airlines that could be interested in the NBA.