HOTR: Consensus that Boeing must launch new airplane in 2023 or 2024

By Scott Hamilton

Feb. 15, 2022, © Leeham News: There is a belief that when Boeing clears out much of its 737 MAX inventory, resumes delivery of the 787, and reduces a good portion of its debt that it will launch a new airplane program.

The Next Boeing Airplane (NBA), as LNA calls it, could be launched in 2023 or 2024, which seems to be a growing consensus.

Consultant Michel Merluzeau, who does work for Boeing on occasion, predicted last week that the NBA could be launched late next year or early the following year. The airplane would be a 225-240 passenger aircraft (two-class) and a single aisle. This is like the Boeing 757—which largely has exited passenger service—and the upper limits of the A321neo. Merluzeau made his predictions at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference.

Replacing the upper MAX family

This would be followed in a couple of years by a second, single-aisle airplane covering the 180-225 passenger market. This airplane would cover the 737 MAX 9, MAX 10, and more directly the A321neo.

Entry into service would be 2028 for the first airplane and 2032 for the second, Merluzeau said. With a minimum, and highly ambitious, five years from launch to EIS, this suggests a 2023 launch and 2027 launch, respectively, for the two families.

Boeing hasn’t hinted what kind of airplane it plans next. CEO David Calhoun killed the twin-aisle concept for the New Midmarket Airplane upon assuming his position in January 2020. His predecessor, David Muilenburg, appeared on a path to launch this airplane in 2019 when the 737 MAX was grounded following a second fatal accident. The Federal Aviation Administration lifted its grounding order in November 2020. A few regulators have yet to do so. Muilenburg talked of an EIS of 2025, even though engine makers and the supply chain said the plane wouldn’t be ready until 2027 at the earliest.

Boeing hasn’t talked about its plans for a new airplane since, other than to say there will be one, and advanced design and production techniques will be key to reducing costs and compressing the launch-to-EIS timeline.

Scant market intelligence is available. Few in the supply chain have been cut into plans for the NBA, whatever it is. Engine makers were known to be developing an engine in the 48,000 lb thrust range. EIS was said to be between 2029 and 2031. The program launch was said to be probably in 2023, but perhaps in 2024.

Cleaning up first

But first, Boeing has a lot of work to do. There were about 325 MAXes in inventory at the end of last year. This is a mix of legacy inventory aircraft, which peaked at about 450, and new production airplanes not yet delivered. There were about 110 787s in inventory. The production rate, according to information gleaned from the sidelines of the PNAA conference, is ticking over at 1/mo. There is no definitive timeline to resume deliveries. Doing so is predicated on having a fix for tiny gaps at body joins and around doors and inspecting what for the moment is all 110 aircraft. Boeing proposed to the FAA a spot-inspection procedure, which the FAA rejected.

American Airlines, with 787-8s at the head of the line, told shareholders it thought deliveries would restart in April. Boeing didn’t dispute this, but neither did it confirm it—deferring to the FAA.

Clearing both inventories and resuming solid cash flow is a must before any new airplane program is launched.

Paying down debt

Boeing now has about $41bn in net debt. Paying a good chunk of this down is also a near-term goal. But Richard Aboulafia of Aerodynamic Advisory suggested at the same PNAA conference that Boeing can afford to boost research and development money by $300m to $500m a year for a new airplane program. Much of the R&D spending that went into the NMA can transfer to the NBA, whether it’s a single- or a twin-aisle aircraft.

Boeing also has access to the capital markets, including the equity market, as another financing option.



239 Comments on “HOTR: Consensus that Boeing must launch new airplane in 2023 or 2024

  1. “.. Boeing must launch ..”

    Most every body knew that all along ( actually back to the NG 🙂

    “Hic Rhodos, hic salta”: Boeing never jumped.

    • I took 2 years of Latin, but I’m more familiar with a colloquial English variant of the expression about jumping to Rhodes,

      “If we had some bacon, we could have bacon and eggs, …. if we had some eggs.”

      Also, I’d like to learn the trick of converting $40 or $50 or $60 billion in debt into $20 in cash for a new airplane program.

      • > Also, I’d like to learn the trick of converting $40 or $50 or $60 billion in debt into $20 in cash for a new airplane program. <

        Others here might have the same question.

        "We lose money on every plane- when we're finally able to deliver them!- but [will] make it up in volume."

        • Ask our Greens :
          “seasonal lack in renewables ( phtotovoltaics ) will be overcome by expanding massively on photovoltaics.”
          ( IMU lots more of “nix” is still “nix” 🙂

      • Have you ever seen Ch 11 in action?

        I wonder if Calhoun et al. have been quietly buying (or have transferred their compensation to) Boeing bonds, instead of stock/stock options?

  2. Is there engine tech ready in 2024 to have significant advantage over a potential A322? It is not clear that Airbus is contemplating a simple stretch, but I can’t imagine they will sit on their cards when Boeing launches a competitive plane against the sacred A321NEO…

    • Who says the new plane will be “competitive”?
      Based on recent BA programs, one can assume that the new plane will be (very) late and over budget — and will probably even incur a reach-forward loss.

    • Engine tech is a red herring. If new engine tech arrives, it will be available to both (or all) competitors.

      • “Engine Tech available for all”


        Is it stuff that allows a re-engine on a current design
        paradigm change ala “Open Rotor” or comparable disruptive
        that require a different/new airframe layout.

        The last NB reengine run already shew the range of ease ( or not ) for the different existing airframes.

      • I am skeptical that the new jet from BA will EIS by 2028, about one year ahead of est. EIS of said engine.

        Does it make sense??

        • A GTF in that class would be very good engine and have upside.

          It does not have to be available at launch.

          • @TW

            Re-engine within the first couple years of EIS? SMH. What a great strategy to damage the co.!!

          • Pedro:

            I did not say anything about a re-engine.

            Launch program this year, NEW P&W engine is ready by 2027 when its needed.

            Yes its tight but P&W has the design and background in what they would change from current conservative which is the right way to go for the first off)

            The 787-8 was conservative, the -9 they took out the excess and fine tuned it.

          • Who else believes “NEW P&W engine is ready by 2027 when its needed”??

            Engine makers are not in good financial position for major R&D expenses.

      • Let’s wait and see what GE puts under the B777x.

        You might be proven wrong, if GE has found another 5% over RR (again)

    • Most likely not, PWA and CFMI still need to be net cash positive on the LEAP and PW1000-G series. They can increase fan diameter with 1-2″, add an LPT stage and remove 1 HPC stage to upflow the core engine for a few $bn. It will increase thrust but marginally improve SFC.
      RR could offer an 40k Ultrafan but it will be expensive designing a new engine from the +85k Ultrafan they have built but not yet tested as a full engine. Still the core engine could be the same with a new LP system that might already be in their computers as a successor to the RB211-535, still RR might not now have the money to design it to be able to sell it with a profit?

      • claes:

        RR is running more a test article Ultra, not even a prototype as the current core I think is from the Trent series.

        Its listed as a demonstration.

        It is supposed to scale from 25k on up

  3. Interesting!
    Have you heard anything about which engine makers will be involved?

    • P&W for sure. GE probably though not likely its a GTF.

      RR? Obvious candidate but they have not done GTF yet.

  4. Looks off… The max10 is only going to EIS in 2023/24 and its successor is due to EIS in 2032. That leaves the max10 with only 8-10yrs of production life… That’s really short for a new stretched variant.
    Unless Boeing’s gonna drop the max10 and EIS the smaller variant by 2028? Or is there something missing here???

    • If you look at the LNA Twitter feed, you’ll see this fascinating piece of text:

      “He also wrote “A new wrinkle in the 737 story surfaced: Boeing needs to certify the 737MAX 10 by the end of the year. This is because the FAA FAR Part 25 rules give the OEM 5-years to complete certification or the certification basis changes.””

      • IMU certification of the -10 with a (functional) final redundant AoA solution would force that same solution on the other sub types. (That was part of the re-cert of the already flying hardware.)
        If Boeing nixes the -10 … this provision will not kick in, right?

        • Vince:

          That may be the intended strategy. Get the larger bird that does not compete with the MAX series until latter.

          How viable that is?

      • -> “Boeing contract with Spirit Aerosystems for fuselages extends to 2033.”

    • Vince

      I believe BA is in dire straits. BA has cut itself into a corner: not only the MAX 10, the MAX 8 also needs a competitive replacement soon.

  5. I believe “the wing of the future” is ready at Airbus, so a stretched A322 should follow quickly if Boeing makes that move.
    Both contestents will have optimized brand new state pof the art composite wings. Since open rotor is not ready yet, it’ll be a convential engine. If it’s not too large, Airbus should be able to use it as well. Since they will have a similar fuselage diameter, the length should be similiar as well.
    Will be interesting to see where Boeing wants to carve out the adavantage in economics over the A322.
    Will Boeing opt for a composite fuselage? I think Leeham previously stated it’s still more expensive than a conventional fuselage and its questionable if in that size bracket the weight savings are worth that premium.

    • “Will Boeing opt for a composite fuselage? ”

      What has changed ( tech, market, .. ) vs the abortive NSA ( right around the corner, super materials, super production, next best thing to a sliced Dreamliner ) where Boeing themselves did not have an inkling of how to transfer from PR to flyable reality?

      ( CFRP Dreamliner _with new engines ) +8% ~= A330CEO, Leeham some years ago and in context of principally advantaged WB design)

      • >What has changed vs the NSA
        I understand production methods for composites have matured a lot since the design time of the B787 and A350. Many of the practical limitation from that time wouldnt apply to future designs.
        The market segment targeted now is much smaller, too. Which would de-risk ramping up a new production method somewhat.

    • For a small fuselage GLARE or Lithium Aluminium works best. Airbus used GLARE on the A380 and Lithium Aluminium is on the A220, Boeing used Lithium Aluminium on the B777-X
      So competence is within both organisations.

    • “Both contestants will have optimized brand new state of the art composite wings.”
      Airbus is further than Boeing on that.
      Working together with suppliers as partners will slash cost on manufacturing techniques that are still in infancy.

    • You can have a mix like the aft tail body composite (like the A380) and Al-Li fuselage. This section can be designed to be unpressurized hence allowing less stringent tolerances and still work. The nose section might be composite but you need to make 30-40 a month so it sounds an Al-Li nose would be less risky. Boeing also know it is hard to make composites to form tolerances not requiring shimming. This also points to an Aluminum alloy nose.

  6. “Boeing also has access to the capital markets, including the equity market, as another financing option.”

    It has — but that will come with a hefty price tag attached.
    An attempt to access capital via either source will almost certainly precipitate a rating downgrade to junk, which will automatically trigger an interest increase for existing debt, as well as increasing the price of new debt. Even without this effect, base interest rates have increased sharply since BA last issued bonds, and those rates continue to rise.

    • The vast majority of Boeing’s debt is bonds. Boeing notably sold about 10 billions of bond in 2019 (due to the MAX), 25 billions in early 2020 (due to covid), 5 billion in late 2020, and about 10 billions in early 2021 (to refinance part of a delayed draw term loan reaching maturity). This amount for about 50 billions of new debt since 2019. So, credit rating is not going to affect interest payment on most of Boeing’s existing debt. It will, however, affect future bonds interest rates.

      • I specifically remember that the bonds issued in 2021 contained a junk rating interest hike clause.

        • Credit rating clause is a good point. I just checked and the delayed draw term loan in 2020 contained an interest hike clause (+0.75% to +1.25% depending on credit rating). However, this specific debt has been since refinanced and completely reimbursed. Regarding bonds, I can not find a source that clearly state how much interest rate will be raised in case of credit rating downgrade. The 25 billions bonds issued in early 2020 are pretty expensive (about 4.5 to 6% interest rate depending of the maturity date).

          • Here’s some extra info on the 25-billion-dollar bond issuance from 2020:

            “Demand was stoked by high yields relative to Boeing’s other bond issues, Boeing’s earnings report on Wednesday and provisions in the offering that protect investors in case of a credit rating downgrade to junk status.”

            “To placate investors over the risk of a potential downgrade to junk status, the bonds contained a provision that raises the coupon paid to bondholders if Boeing loses its investment-grade status.”


            If I recall correctly, the penalty was 50 basis points (= 0.5 percentage points).

        • Yup.

          The market expects the Fed to front load rate hikes and it already reflected in debts on offer.

          Bullish for heavily debt laden companies!! /s

  7. “This is like the Boeing 757—which largely has exited passenger service—and the upper limits of the A321neo.”

    In my mind, DL’s large fleet and the fact that in Europe, Condor’s 757-300 still seem to be omnipresent at least in holiday destinations, somehow negates the “has largely exited pax service” view. But actually checking the numbers… Jeez. There are only in or around 200 pax 757 left in service these days.

    Regarding the prediction (757 replacement shifted upward a bit, plus 737 MAX replacement shifted upward a bit)…
    Well, this is kind of where we’ve been for about a decade at this point, and while I can understand the desire to see Boeing launch a new plane (and actually, having read both Scott’s book and Flying Blind, I really want to see them going back to being a serious engineering organisation that just gets stuff right again for a change), I don’t really see how that would make much sense before 2025.
    Firstly: I don’t currently see any groundbreaking new engine technology enabling CO2 neutrality for a plane launched in 2023. (Although I’m happy to be proven wrong here.) So we’d be talking incremental changes.
    Secondly: The above begs the question: Who really needs an incremental change plane in the 757 niche when there are now only in or around 200 pax 757s left in operation (by the time a 2023-launched plane will have its EIS, this number will be 0 or very close). Meaning: Boeing are right now exactly where they were ten years ago with regard to launching that new MOM plane – except a lot of time has passed and the 757 replacement market is no longer a market to tap into for any plane launched in 2023/24. Way too late to that party. And a good bit too early for the A321neo(X)LR replacement party.
    Yes, you could aim a good bit above the 757 niche, but then you’re building a plane for the 787-8 and A330-200 replacement market. I think for a 2023/24 launch/~2028/29 EIS, that *is* a much better market than the 757 replacement. But it still seems… small-ish, as the assumption would be for Boeing to want to protect the 787-9, i.e. that new plane shouldn’t encroach on that territory.

    It’s a pickle they find themselves in, not least because they’ve made the decision to not take a decision for a good decade now. (Often forgotten truism: Not taking a decision is also a decision, which also has consequences.)

    • IMU it is problematic to express your future needs/desires
      in yesterday’s solutions.
      It is the way customers tend to express themselves. But:
      A major step in going forward then it to extract what the customer really needs/wants and going forward from there, unhampered by fossilized existing solutions.

      • “A major step in going forward then it to extract what the customer really needs/wants and going forward from there, unhampered by fossilized existing solutions.”

        I agree – but that’s not an approach for the faint of heart. You’ve got two programmes (787 and 737 MAX) that you spent billions on and that are yet to become cash-positive at programme level. Jeopardising the ROI on those by launching a new programme that might cannibalise part of the market covered by the 787 and 737 MAX is not an easy sell even in an engineering-driven organisation, much less in a shareholder value-driven one like Boeing has turned into.

        • anfromme:

          Valid but keep in mind, sudden leaps (sorry GE) are not in the cards.

          Its all going to be incremental.

          $64 question is, does the lack of a modern fuel efficient aircraft n the 757 space hold back the market and the market is making do with what they can get?

          While the 757 is a fantastic bird (or was) its not noted for its fuel efficiency.

          I don’t say I have the answers, other than noise I don’t think Calhoun has a clue either.

          But the same thinking had Boeing limping along with the 737 when it should have never gone past the NG and that only as a stop gap.

          Airbus has options on the A320 series because its modern architecture the 737 does not.

          They would not have knocked Airbus off, they would have been able to compete directly with the A321.

          The fact that the -8 competes directly with the current A320NEO tells you how hard it is for a jump in that area.

    • Ah, yes, the “no decision decision” – been a while since I’ve seen that frequently forgotten/overlooked/little known or understood principle – but glad to see it used here since it cannot be forgotten or overlooked, especially at McBoeing!

    • Kicking the can down the road while pretending that the company generated good FCF and used the cash to inflate stock price.

      Heads the C-suite wins, tails the L.T. shareholders lose. Winning strategy from MBA schools.

    • BA has ‘cut’ itself into a corner. I don’t believe the potential market is large enough for the new program to be profitable. That’s why we heard of MOM for so many years but BA was not able to pull off.
      May be in future LNA will deep dive to prove otherwise.

  8. If Airbus just sits on it’s hands and 737-7 sales really take off, what could possibly go wrong?

    I’m starting to believe this endless NMA rehashing has become a kind of decoy. An lean, savvy, clean, quiet 500-2000NM 150-200 seater is what the markets need. Not another niche NMA.

    Boeing might be hiding it, because another MAX order collapse is bad for cash flow / margins.

  9. Regarding Boeing’s debt, the 2021 annual report indicates that there is about 5, 5, 4, and 8 billions of debt reaching maturity in 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026 respectively, for a total of about 22 billions. Interest payments will likely be around 1 to 2 billion per years, so the total in negative cash flow will be around 25-30 billions. Can Boeing really afford to launch a new aircraft program in such conditions… Of course Boeing can refinance its debt by insuring new bonds, but this will also mean that Boeing will have a huge debt to pay off well beyond 2030s.

    • Boeing’s interest expense has climbing steadily from $722 million in 2019, to $2.156 billion in 2020 to $2.678 in 2021.

      Long term debt at the end of 2020 was $61.89 billion and dropped to $56.806 at the end of 2021


      Boeing dipped into their savings to do it;

      Cash and cash equivalents $8,052 $7,752
      Short-term and other investments 8,192 17,838

      Boeing liquidated some $9.6 billion in investments to increase their cash on hand by $400 million and retire about $5 billion in LTD.

      Back of the envelope numbers says BA chopped off about 10% of their LTD – so you’d kinda expect interest expense to drop to about the same for 2022, to somewhere about $2.5 billion.

      How many aircraft do Boeing have to sell, make and deliver – to cover their interest payments alone? $25 – $30 billion?

      Dipping into savings is very, very telling…

      • This is a very good point that I did not address in my first comment. As Boeing was only able to produce a small operating cash flow in Q4, Boeing reduced is debt load by converting its short term investment into cash and by using its cash reserve. Basically, the only reason why Boeing debts declined, is because parts of its bonds reached maturity and the principal have to be pay back to the bond holders.

        Another point to address is the non-cash 6.5billion reach-forward loss recognized on the 777X program. It means that Boeing, currently, does not expect to make a profit on the 777X program. It also means that 777X will be significantly cash-negative, and for many years. Boeing may loss, for example, 10 billion on the first 100-150 units before only recovering 3.5 billion on the next 200-250 units (the 777X accounting block is currently set to 350). The prolongated 777X test campaign is also going to cast cash (R&D and testing are not included in program accounting).

        • I hate pouring through these things and is exactly why I got out of this kind of work…

          ‘As Boeing was only able to produce a small operating cash flow in Q4, ‘

          Looking over their Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows, you have this:

          Net loss ($4,290) ($11,941)
          Net cash used by operating activities (3,416) (18,410)

          Page 10 of the link I provided.

          Boeing did not have a positive operating cash flow.

          It’s only after they factored in this:

          Proceeds from investments 45,489 20,275

          That cash flow turns positive.

          • BA has to pay, over next couple of years, those billions of non-cash charges. With production rates remain low, cash generation is weak. Ramp up would artificially create (a falsehood of) additional FCF due to BA’s financial engineering: delay paying suppliers thru’ programs like PFS, but it’s hard to imagine BA will be able to generate enough cash to cover debts due and R&D for new jet programs. BA cut R&D by 44% over last two years: talent is gone, manpower is gone.

          • @Pedro

            I don’t claim to be an expert in program accounting, but here’s my understanding of it;

            In relation to your statement – BA has to pay, over next couple of years, those billions of non-cash charges.

            If you’re talking about paying, as in cash out of the bank account, they already have/are. Those things are subject to agreements with suppliers, even if they are 90/120/180 days stretched out.

            When BA has to write down a program (let’s take the recent 787 $3.5 billion) and people say it’s only an ‘accounting’ entry, in a way, they are right.

            Thing is, Boeing has spent that money, out of cash. They had to pay their suppliers at some point in the past, for those goods and services. But since Boing didn’t have that cash from previous sales to pay for that stuff, they had to borrow money.

            So that $3.5 billion is now sitting on their balance sheet, but it’s called Long Term Debt – and not only does it have to be paid back to lenders, at some point in time, but each year it sits there, it’s costing them an extra $175 million in interest expense (assuming an avg rate 0r 5% on their bonds), which is the equivalent margin on what….6…7…787’s?

          • The 3,416 millions negative operating cash flow is for over one complete year. Boeing did turn a small positive operating cash flow during the last quarter of 2021 (Q4).

          • Regarding the non-cash charges, with program accounting, the production cost over the mean production cost remains on the balance sheet as an asset and is often called “deferred production cost”. Boeing includes this “deferred production cost” as part of inventory on its balance sheet. When Boeing takes a charge, it write-off (decreases) part of its inventory on its balance sheet and, at the same time, reports an expense on the income statement.

            Boeing recognized a 3.5 billion reach-forward loss on the 787 in Q4. This mean that the profit from the unfilled 787 will not be enough to zeroth the total deferred production cost under the current estimate. So a reach-forward loss write-off was necessary. This results in a non-cash expense of 3.5 billion and a reduction of 3.5 billion of “deferred production cost” on its balance sheet. In this case, when delivery will resume, Boeing is still likely going to make some profit, but less than initially planned, and not enough to recover the initial (before the write-off) “deferred production cost”.

            For the 777X, the reach-forward loss of 6.5 billion in 2020 means that Boeing is going to lose a LOT of money with the first, let’s say 100-150 units before making some profit on the reminder 200-250 units. The 777X accounting block has currently 350 units. So Boeing may lose, let’s say 10 billion of cash before make 3.5 billion, or, it might be lose 15 billion before recovering 8.5 billion. So, the 777X will be a significant risk on cash flow.

          • Hi Frank,

            I was referring to:

            -> The company recorded several 787-related charges and costs in the fourth-quarter after determining that resuming deliveries and clearing its inventory would take longer than expected. They included a *US$3.5 billion pretax, noncash accounting charge* to cover compensation to Dreamliner customers. The company *doubled so-called abnormal costs of estimated spending on Dreamliner inspection and repairs to US$2 billion* and signaled that the work will extend through the end of next year.


            They are cash drains for 2022 and beyond.
            (I don’t believe the customers compensation is limited to those waiting for delivery of 110 or so B787 on the ground, there is cascading effect for delivery of 787 in 2022 + likely 2023 ….)

          • Hi Pedro,

            I you look at the 2021 Annual Report, the 3.5 billion charge is explicitly referred to as “reach-forward loss”, not as a customer compensation charge. From PDF page 88:

            “During the fourth quarter of 2021, we determined that estimated costs to complete the 787 program plus costs already included in 787 inventory exceed estimated revenues from the program. The resulting reach-forward loss of $3,460 was recorded as a reduction to deferred production costs.”

            Also, abnormal production costs are only recognized as incurred. From PDF page 36:

            “The 2021 loss includes a reach-forward loss on the787 program of $3,460 million, abnormal production costs related to 737 MAX of $1,887 million, and abnormal production costs related to the 787program of $468 million resulting from continued production issues, inspections and rework, partially offset by higher 737 MAX deliveries. ”

            The annual report can be found here:

          • Hi Pedro,

            I am not sure what exactly forward loss recognition is, but an accrued liabilities is used to track estimated expense that has already been recognized but not yet paid in cash.

            For example, there is 2,940 millions in accrued liabilities for the “737 MAX customer concessions and other considerations”. It means that out of the estimated 8 to 9 billions of cost already recognized and incurred on the income statement in 2020, there is still 2,94 billion to be actually paid to Boeing customers.

            As I say, I don’t know what forward loss recognition is, and the figure that you quoted may not even be relevant for the 787 or 777X (Boeing also recognized reach-forward loss on the KC-46 and the Starliner). So for me, the important figures are the 3.5 billion reach-forward loss for the 787 and the 6.5 reach-forward loss for the 777X. Program specific reach-forward losses are much easier to track than accrued liabilities.

          • Don’t forget BA hasn’t made any provision for rework of the 1,000 or so 787 delivered. Likely amounts to tens of billion.

          • I am not sure if all 787 have to be repaired. Production quality issues mainly affect the North Charleston line.

            Also, just in case there is any confusion, the 2,014 m “forward loss recognition” in the annual report is definitely not directly related to the “estimated spending on Dreamliner inspection and repairs to US$2 billion” reported by Bloomberg. First, only accrued expenses recognized on the income statement will be added to accrued liabilities on the balance sheet. And Boeing only recognized $468 million in 2021. Second, income statement and balance sheet statement reported number differently. If on the balance sheet, it is indicated that Boeing total debt was 63.8 billion in 2020 and 58,4 billion in 2021, it does not mean that Boeing borrowed 63.8 billion in 2020 and 58,4 billion in 2021. It actually means that Boeing reimbursed 5.4 billion of debt. Since the “forward loss recognition” for 2020 was 1,913 millions, the net increase is only 101 millions… and I have no idea what is the source of this.

          • I only failed two courses in my life.

            One was Algebra in 9th grade (horrid teacher if you could even call him that) (yes I passed with a B+ the next year under a good teacher).

            The other was accounting, I failed the 1st quarter and dropped it!

            I have successfully managed my own money but its amazing how much like string theory accounting is.

          • Jacques:

            See Dominic Gates’s, reporter of the Seattle Times, tweet:

            -> Boeing says the various defects don’t pose an immediate safety risk, so in-service 787 jets are not grounded But many of the jets now flying may have the same defects & will need repaired later. That expense is likely not included in Boeing’s recent $5.5B cost estimate


  10. Airbus probably shouldn’t worry too much about this new plane “NMA” which has changed so many times but is clearly aimed at the A321 now. Back and forth between small wide body and single aisle. AB is probably ready with A322 with new wing and all.

    Perhaps, the biggest worry should be the 787-10 HGW.

  11. The Next Boeing Aircraft (NBA) could have a composite wing, and use the P&W GTF that is on the A321XLR. I don’t think Calhoun and company are super moonshot men to do much more than that. It will be a well accepted machine. Delta could be the launch customer.

    • Delta already has orders for 155 A321Neo’s, with options for a further 70. In Dec 2021, they just took delivery of their last A321Ceo, with the first of their new Neo’s to come mid-2022.

      Delta is already heading towards an all-Airbus narrowbody fleet, with A220’s (firm orders for 90 and another 50 options) and A321Neo’s at the top end. I’m betting they have clauses in place, if they want to flip some of the A321’s into the LR/XLR variant.

      They are already replacing their 757’s with the A321Neo, but what Bastian really wanted from Boeing, was a 767 replacement.

      Why would they order a copy of an aircraft that they have 225 orders and option for? Especially since BA would have to charge airlines more to recoup a $15 billion investment?

      • Makes sense. I think part of my reasoning for this NBA to be utilized by DAL was their desire for that 230 seat dual class plane. But the easier action for them to take would be to get A322s. But you never know… They do like to pit AB against BA…

        • No – Boeing shot itself in the foot with Delta, over the C-Series. Delta has fared so well BECAUSE they have a majority Airbus fleet.

          As far as your 230 seat dual-class aircraft (narrow body) – you are talking about a re-made 757.

          and a much heavier aircraft than a A321Neo.

          I don’t think they can use the current GTF or the Leap on a 757, not powerful enough. You’re talking 10,000 lbs less thrust, then what the original 757 engines produce.

          Perhaps one of the engines guys here can chime in.

          • Generelly speaking the 757 was considered by pilots as overpowered. Its convenient to rate early and fun to fly such a powerhouse, but its still more thrust than strictly needed.
            Besides that, a composite wing with state of the art design requires less thrust. See the 777-X project.

          • nofly has it right.

            It would be an interesting upgrade to get the GTF with enough more power to do the job.

            P&W has been looking at larger engines for a long time. They don’t have prototypes but they do have designs.

            Each year its adjusted to the current thinking on what they would do over again.

            Current upgrades have to be back-fitted to the existing GTF so there are limits there. The latest iteration has a bit more SFC but focuses on reliability and longevity (big deal in the single aisle world vs the standard set by CFM)

            Its one reason PW is so far ahead, they have hands on with what works and what they need to change to make larger jumps

  12. We have to remember Calhoun’s bottom
    line: the launch of a clean sheet program will divert $15 billion in cash flow from stock buybacks to a secondary endeavor, ie investing in the future. This will hamper Calhoun’s ability to bid up the stock and the value of his own options….
    He has a strong vested interest to find the business case insufficient and not launch any new development program.

    • The sad reality for the last decade.

      Who can change Boeings destructive short term focussed executive rewarding system?

      Washington, when they bail them out for strategic reasons.

      • All too true. As LN has said as have many, they need a clean sweep up top

  13. It is enough if they build a carbon winged robotic built A321neo competitor and can sell at a lower price. Airbus has the A322 ready but required engine thrust in not really there as they will top out at 34k soon, with 35k promised some time. Customers expect present day reliability and cost for the powerplants. Airbus most likely would like a 37-40k new engine to fit to a new carbon wing but has to wait for the RISE/PW1040G sometime late 2030’s.

    • RISE is a pie in the sky and take a complete re-design and a one off one at that (no alternative engines)

      PW could do a larger GTF in 5 years given a commitment. Not just larger but applied lessons learned where they were too conservative or some different choices in the systems that make a lot of difference.

  14. Boeing somehow producing an all-new plane in anything
    like five years from launch seems.. unlikely. “Decoy” talk
    fits, to my mind; at least for now.

    > and advanced design and production techniques will be key to reducing costs and compressing the launch-to-EIS timeline. < We'll see how it goes.

    I'm wondering when 787 deliveries will resume, and if the in-service 787s will need rework.

    Airbus seems to be several steps ahead of the other guys in the prospective markets.

    • Bill7:

      Airbus is indeed ahead in a lot of areas.

      Ironically, the 787 is the most used wide body in the world and Boeing has shot themselves in the foot (well shot off both feet)

      I think we will start to see deliveries in 2 months. Each one will have to be in depth inspected and corrected.

      The in service fleet will get those fixes as they come in for major maint (or if FAA determines its a near term safety issue). So far it seems not to be sans some that did have the double shim/tolerance wammy.

      As for a new aircraft, shrug. Too much flaring and chaffing to see where its going or will go. By the time its in Service Calhoun is gone (if not much sooner)

      That does not mean the next guy up is any better of course

      • -> “I think we will start to see deliveries in 2 months.”

        I’ll believe it when I see it!

          • Pedro:

            I am not saying Boeing will resume a large number of deliveries, just that they likely will deliver a couple a month to start with.

            As the FAA is not buying into sampling (yet) its a matter of manpower, fixing the out of tolerance and then the rest is an understood process.

            They should be able to hand fix two a month, but they had to be forced to accept that and clearly did not plan for FAA resistance to their plan.

            They should have dual tracked it, but then that would have been smart management and Boeing is not known for that these days.

            Two a month keeps the backlog from growing and you start working at upping that until you get the build house in order. To clear the backlog is going to take a early 787 like major additional workforce per the send em to the hangar to get all the stuff fixed.

            Boeing has yet to learn the Fram filter mantra, you can pay me some now now or pay me a whole lot latter on, but pay me you will and latter is always real costly.

          • Lol.

            Back flip from “see deliveries in 2 months” to delivery of two a month!!

      • So I’m kinda looking around to see what aircraft types are in service, in response to:

        ‘the 787 is the most used wide body in the world’


        “As of January 2022, A330 family aircraft orders stood at 1,839 of which 1,527 had been delivered and 1,446, comprising 599 A330-200s, 38 -200Fs, 740 -300s, 4 -800s and 65 -900s, were in airline service with 131 operators. ”

        Only 1000 – 787’s have been built and sold, so if the in-service numbers are true, then the 787 cannot be the most used WB in the world.

        The A330 is the 3rd most sold widebody, after the 747 and the 777.

        • I checked the orders at the beginning of the month. Airbus got more orders for A330 (ceo+neo) since the official start of the A330neo than Boeing for 787 since then. So for a long time 787 will lag behind A330.

        • Thanks for this informed comment. AB seem well-positioned to me in the widebody sector with the 330neo and the 350- both being currently delivered- unlike the 787.
          I might not know my stuff though, so anyone please correct me if I’m wrong.

          I hope BCA get it together someday, and again provide good and honorable jobs for Americans.

          • In all fairness to TW, his comment was that the 787 was ‘the most used’ WB – which may be – because there may be a bunch of retired A-330Ceo’s.

            Produced? No. In use? Maybe

          • @Frank
            According to they have 17 pages of active 787 and 18 pages of active A330ceo. There are also two pages for A330neo.

          • I believe those numbers are based on percentages used vs number delivered.

            The 787 is kept in service as its the smallest most efficient aircraft in its class (where there is little traffic)

            Once traffic resumes then you bring out the A330s to meet the load.

            Lufthansa is talking about or is going to use a 747-400 for a short haul fill in.

            Right now there is a lot of herking and jerking as the Omicron variant situation changes dramatically, trend is up now (save China which is in lock-down)

        • The A330 could have been the most sold widebody had Airbus not knobled its performance to promote A340 sales.

          • It still has a chance: after all, the NEO is still in production, as is the A330 MRTT.

          • If you are counting on the MRT, good luck. 48 or so.

            The A340 had nothign to do with the A330 success, which has done fine (or did)

            Boeing 787 failure is what has enabled the A330CEO to do as well as it did but its still been a successful program.

            A330NEO, stay tuned.

      • Whatever this Boeing NBA narrow body is it will quickly kill the A321XLR. The A321XLR cruises too slow and too low to be ideal for such ranges. Headwinds and weather.

        • Now that is really quite impressive, William, the NBA is not even born on paper and it’s already killing the A321XLR. Maybe you would care to share your insight into this project and tell us all about the specs of the NBA?

          • Maybe exaggerated words but cruising altitude and speed is a weakness in the A320 series. It was irrelevant for 1500nmi routes but as range increased it has become more prominent. On a transatlantic route it means reduced range to allow for headwinds and a bumpy ride on occasions.

          • Our poster knows better than those who run AAL/UAL, which pick A321XLR over the ‘superior’ BA products. Haha.

        • Using the word “quickly” in any sentence containing the term “Boeing NBA” is an oxymoron.
          Possible exceptions: “The Boeing NBA quickly turned out to be another mess”, etc.

        • While that may be true, it may also be irrelevant at the time of Boeings EIS. They will have to compete with next gen stuff Airbus currently is preparing, not current gen products. We dont know the performances characteristics of a re-winged A321/A322 yet.

      • -Airbus is going to have a fight on its hands. The B787-9 and -10 HGW versions will challenge the A350-900/1000.
        -Then there is Qatar Airlines viral campaign against Ar50 which is successfully damaging the aircrafts reputation.

        • And yet, Etihad ordered 7 A350Fs at the Singapore Airshow today, despite being one of the airlines affected by paint adhesion problems.

          • Singapore Airlines is a class act. Not every airline is as astute as they are.

        • Again, the poster missed the boat AGAIN.

          Imagine a paper jet with no specs. five, eight (or more) years away to compete in current market?? Lol.

        • “Airbus is going to have a fight on its hands. ”

          Before Boeing can think of getting into a fight with Airbus, it better;

          1) Deal with regulators about getting it’s 787’s delivered again, so they don’t have to be volun-told to park their jets coming off the line

          2) Fix the issues with the 777X program, try to get that one certified

          3) Try to reduce the 737 Max’s in inventory

          4) Fix the companies finances

          5) Stem the bleeding in the narrowbody segment

          So much hot air has come out of BA with all the new aircraft it’s gonna launch, all the great things their aircraft are gonna do.

          They have a great PR department in Chicago…of that, there is no doubt

          • You forgot to mention the ongoing, ungodly mess with the KC-46A 😉

            But, help is on the way: the RVS will “nominally” be fixed in 2026, at the USAF’s expense. Mind you, that still leaves a whole list of other shortcomings — including an excessively stiff boom.

        • “Airbus is going to have a fight on its hands.”

          I expect that. But not in the product domain.

          Expect a reemergence of the WTO case or something similarly inane. ( The lead in “PR tripe” in the upcoming tanker competition is indicative MHO.

    • -> ” … and if the in-service 787s will need rework.”

      Quite possible according to this report from Dominic Gates

      => “Boeing says the various defects don’t pose an immediate safety risk, so in-service 787 jets are not grounded But many of the jets now flying may have the same defects & will need repaired later. That expense is likely not included in Boeing’s recent $5.5B cost estimate”

    • > and advanced design and production techniques will be key to reducing costs <

      Sorry for the re-emphasis, but that quoted bit is *pure hand-waving* from Boeing.

      Show us.. Maybe the C-Suiters and engineeer-kids responsible for the 737MAX and MCAS; the 787 stalled-delivery (April, eh? 2022? ); and 777-X no-show (2024, eh? will show how very wrong I am.

  15. Some will remember that I have been claiming for years that the twin-aisle NMA is stillborn, a paper plane, a decoy or whatever. But Airbus never flinched, and rightly so.
    I also repeatedly stated that Boeing needs a rather conventional but well designed and modern (think FBW) single aisle plane urgently. They still do and now they apparently have realized that. The MAX is a dud. Bringing it to market was arguably Boeings worst decision ever, plus it was rushed so heavily that something bad had to happen.
    So here we are. The new single-aisle is on the board. Engines? Sure, they will be current tech, and that is probably best anyways. Maybe RR will have a dash and come forward with a small Ultrafan. But there is still quite some potential in the GTF design too.
    I have no doubts about the wings. Of course they will be CFRP, they will bring the largest chunk of improvement in efficiency. This will also make the engine question a lot easier, as they reduce drag and lower the empty weight of the plane.
    The fuselage will definitely be Aluminium, probably Al-Li. Development of a new technology to make a CFRP fuselage competitive in this class would easily take a decade with open results. Besides it would cost a fortune and would require a new factory. Not now.
    Looking at the dire fiscal situation with rising interest rates and Airbus beating them right, left and centre, maybe it’s too late anyways. It’ll be interesting to watch anyway.

    • Don’t forget that Boeing doesn’t make 737 fuselages any more, Spirit does it at Wichita.
      This means that: either Boeing has to set up a completely new facility for making their own new narrow body fuselage bodies at a very high rate, dumping Spirit and investing a few billions of their won money; or they have to persuade Spirit to invest in a new fuselage manufacturing capability, which might be doable for Al-Li but seems unlikely for CFRP

      • Just for curiosity: How wide can a fuselage be, if it still has to be delivered by train from Wichita?

        I expect the new fuselage to be wider than the current 737.

        • no reason to believe the FA line would be in Washington. Boeing would love to get out from under the union.

          IIRC the whole fuselage length limitation is based on some of the restrictions in the rockies and cascades.

          if they put the FA line in one of the “right to be a wage slave” states south and east of Wichita they are likely to be able to loosen those limitations.

          • I don’t accept the MAX is a dud. Its going to sell 5000 easily.

            The Boeing approach is a dud, but the MAX itself is just fine. It does not have the reach of the A321 but that is not an aircraft issue, its a decision by management that tied their own hands.

            Boeing forgot the lessons of the Model T.

          • @TransWorld

            Boeing had better hope that your projection of 5000 units is a gross understatement and I’ll explain why from a couple of different points of view.

            Both makers have come out and estimated the NB segment to be about 20,000 aircraft over a couple of decades, give or take.

            The previous cycle of jets has been pretty much just that, with the A320Ceo family selling about 10,000 units and the 737 NG/Classic (because there was overlap in the years) selling about 9,000 units. So, close enough to a split of the market.

            The A320Neo family and 737 Max family are close enough in their cycles to consider them direct competitors. So if the Max sells for 5,000 units, that means that in the current cycle – the balance is left for the competition.

            That’s a 3 to 1 margin. In order to get it to 2 to 1, BA has to sell around some 7,000 units, which still leaves 13,000 to Airbus.

            Secondly, from a financial perspective – let’s assume that initial development costs for the Max and the Neo were pretty much the same, give or take. However the grounding has cost Boeing an estimated $20 billion.

            So their portion of the market share has cost the company a ton of financial resources – money which can be put into R&D for the next iteration, money which is costing them money (interest expense) and money which can be used to take a lesser margin to secure sales.

            IF, as the esteemed prognosticator proposes, the next NBA/MMA/NMA/797 is a 757 replacement (a previous market of about 1,000 units) – it will cost BA another $15 billion to go out there and get it.

            Lost in the clutter however, is the little A220 program, which has secured 750 orders at the small end of the narrowbody segment, for far less than the proposed $15 billion at the top end. As well, even if BA do launch a model there (757 replacement), the A321LR/XLR is close enough to be called a direct competitor to it – once again for far less. Boeing really have nothing in that segment to match the A220, the large LUV order for the Max 7 being the unique exception because of special circumstances.

            Unless the new proposed aircraft can generate some 4,000 units in sales, Boeing is making a strategic error here IMO. The money would be much better spent on a new narrowbody to replace the Max.

          • @TW

            The NB market will split 30/70 for the next decade (if not more) according to industry insiders.

          • @Frank It might be true that Boeings biggest open flank is is in the 737 MAX program. But is the tech required to leapfrog the A320Neo mature enough yet? If not, you’d be delivering a plane that Airbus can easily counter with comparable economics by doing an 320 upgrade. But for much less money. And you’d be cementing your losing position in that uphill battle for at least 20 years.

          • @TW

            BA currently has over 4,000 737 unfilled order and over 3,400 after ASC 606 adj.

            After removing the 335 MAX stored waiting for delivery, there are roughly 3,100 to be assemled.

            1,900 over next ten years or so means less than 200 a year or 15, 16 a month! May your wish be granted!

          • Sorry.


            1,900 over next ten years or so means less than 200 a year or 15, 16 a month! May your wish be granted!

          • Edit:

            BA has delivered just under 700 MAX, and an additional 350 or so stored waiting for delivery to customers. So roughly 4000 or so to be assembled in the next ten years or so, 400/year or slightly above 30 a month. May your wish be granted!

      • > Don’t forget that Boeing doesn’t make 737 fuselages any more, Spirit does it at Wichita & c <

        I think this point is an important one.

          • Thanks for the link. This is a very interesting read. But it also shows that we are not quite there. Spirit claims their design matches the weight as aluminum structures. That will not suffice, especially, as those panels would still be a lot more expensive than aluminum. If you look at other applications (space, sport,…) you find that CFRP structures are usually half the weight of aluminum structures. I think it is quite funny that they imitate a metal design (stringers and all) in CFRP. That’s not how you do it.

          • haven’t they been making composite panels for Airbus for a long time now? specifically for the A350?

          • Composite airliner fuselage structures do have stringers and frames. Just as composite wings have spars , stringers and ribs.

            You are completely wrong is you think this is ‘not how its done’. Every composite airliner and major structure is service is ‘done’ like this. Semi-monocoque is the only way.

          • Gundolf:

            That is exactly how Airbus does it on the A350.

            While its amazing, up in that trade space it works as good as the Boeing spun fuselage approach.

            Things don’t always scale well and it may be this frame and skin is one of them.

            But unless it offers a benefit of weight or allows design freedom that is important, the tube is not a trendy aerodynamic thing.

          • Once again Transworld makes the mistake that Boeings composite fuselage doesnt use stringers and internal frames in exactly the same way that Airbus does. Photo evidence of the completed barrels as a fully semi-monocoque design before stuffing is available
            All thats different between the manufactures is the SKIN alone is made in panels by one and a complete barrel for the other and the reinforcing added after. ( Airbus does make a barrel for the oddly shaped rear fuselage section under the tail)

            Spirit say their new methods allow for panel or barrel skin fabrication for single aisle planes.

          • Duke:

            You are the one who is wrong.

            Two different approaches.

            Airbus does not spin fuselages.

            Yes there is reinforcement mostly in rings in the 787, but its not the direct stringer and frame system you think it is.

          • So TW, Composites World must be badly mistaken and need ‘reschooling’ when they describe in detail a 787 fuselage section where the pre built composite stringers are inserted in the barrel mandrel before the tape layers get to work?

            ‘Machined into the surface of each mandrel section, also running the length of tool, are slots, into which the preformed stringers are placed, with the flat bottom of the stringer facing outward.’


            Some more detail from the composite construction point of view of the non conformity in shape of the barrels

  16. I think a 101t MTOW A322NEO 4-5 row stretch based on the A321XLR wing, landing gear and fuel system was part of the plan all along.

    And skilled Boeing sales engineers saw through that in minutes.

    Range would be around 3400-3700NM with 230-250 passengers in two classes.

    • I think Airbus response will be the carbon winged A322 with 35k engines from both PWA and CFMI. It might look the same from the outside but the Al-Li structure would be redesigned to fit robotic build. Boeing would do the same and probably use the same engines but with Boeing built nacelles. It will be a production speed and cost race. The difference might be the systems and if Boings vendors can shrink and redue cost on the 787 components for the “797” to beat the Airbus latest build standard with a more electric system setup.

      • I really am wondering these days if these comments
        are bot-generated. Carbon-fiber and robots are not
        going to surmount other- structural!- economic problems at Boeing and elsewhere, even assuming they’re turnkey lower-cost solutions (they’re not).

        Weird, or deluded- not sure.

        • Spirit structures is publicly quoted as doing what you say cant be done.

          Money is the least of Boeing issues, as even they are putting money ( since 2010) into air mobility start-ups. The world is awash with money looking for better returns.
          Its the airlines are that way more financially over geared than Boeing. No worries about that either.

          • “Money is the least of Boeing issues”

            Au contraire: BA’s abysmal balance sheet and short-term revenue outlook is an existential problem for which there’s no easy solution.

          • Money is out there, interest rates are low.

            Management is Boeing issue, the rest can be worked with. Ask Ford

          • Duke and TW

            Yah, that’s going to end.

            Like so many professional athletes who think the money spigot stays on forever, it is going to get turned off – for a couple of reasons;

            First off – 7% inflation. A 3% annual increase in wages loses you 4% in life. That cannot be sustained. Interest rates have to go up, to reign that in.

            Secondly – there will be no more bailouts, no more free cash.

            There is a mid-term election coming up in Nov. Two years later it’s for the WH. Before the last jobs report, the GOP was going on about an decrease in jobs, turned out they were wrong and ended up with egg on their face.

            They’ll do everything they can now, to jam a stick in the spokes and make the current admin look bad.

            I’m just calling balls and strikes – it’s just the way it is. I’ve got no dog in the fight.

            Gravy train is going to stop

    • with an extension of 4 to 5 rows it seems to me that the take-off performances could be problematic on “short” runways used by the operators: limited rotation angle and lower incidence would lead to a higher speed at Vr and therefore maybe a higher thrust and therefore a mass penalty at engine level: your opinion?

  17. More bad news for the 787 program:
    “Boeing 787 Stays Under FAA Oversight for Factory-Quality Checks”

    “Bloomberg) — Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner suffered a new blow as U.S. regulators on Tuesday said they would retain authority for inspecting the jets before delivery.

    The Federal Aviation Administration said in an emailed statement that it is taking the action to “allow the agency to confirm the effectiveness of measures Boeing has undertaken to improve the 787 manufacturing process.”

    The company’s wide-body composite jet has been plagued by problems after discovery of flaws in the way sections of the plane were joined.

    Boeing shares pared their gains on the news, rising 3.2% to $216.70 at 12:21 p.m. in New York. Th stock earlier had risen as much as 4.5%”

    • Yah – there’s kinda no rhyme or reason as to why stocks rise or fall, these days.

      I had some guy who was long BA today tell me that it was good news, because the FAA and Boeing had an ‘agreement’ on the 787.

      When someone in power TELLS you how things are going to work – it’s hardly an accord. It’s an order…

      • > Yah – there’s kinda no rhyme or reason as to why stocks rise or fall, these days. <

        I think Frank knows much more than he says, but:

        THE FED / (afterthought) ECB

        not sustainable, though- who will pay the Piper?

        • I should’ve said BIS rather than ECB, I guess.

          We’re headed for a hard landing, I think- not the little peeps’ fault.

          Anyone else notice the vast, further enrichment of the already ultra-rich since early 2020? It’s cool though; they’ve promised, promised they’ll treat their new serfs nicely.

          Ebreybuddy say “Carbon Fiber and Robots”, as we head to the Food Bank..

  18. In other Airbus new today, JetBlue just increased it’s order book for the A220 to an even 100 jets, speeding up their Embraer retirements:

    JetBlue stock rises after addition of 30 Airbus A220s to order book

    Orders for 20 yesterday and 30 today – quietly, quietly, the A220 is increasing it’s numbers. Almost 750. That’s a total of 8,600 narrow body aircraft orders for Airbus. 4,800 for the Max (before ASC 606 adjustments).

      • Just a subjective one-off observation by my daughter: last November she flew AMS-ZRH on a Swiss A230. Return flight was on a Helvetic (flying for Swiss) E190-E2. She, who does not really care about planes, said that the flight to Zurich (A230) was far nicer than the return flight. Especially noise was much lower and they are both P&W GTF.

        What I wonder with this choice for next gen Boeing aircraft is if it is too big? It starts at 180+ seats. If the A250 comes out and has very similar costs per seat, why would anyone buy the bigger aircraft? If you need 230 seats the bigger Boeing offering would be the way to go, but what about the smaller one? We see the same in wide body, where a lot of airlines are down-gauging from 77W to 789/A359. If 2 planes have similar costs per seat, airlines choose the smaller one unless they have a very specific need for a larger aircraft. Even EK is downsizing from all A380/777W to include 789/A359. If you have a smaller plane to fill and there is no natural demand to fill a larger plane, then the fares you can charge would be higher for the smaller aircraft.

        • I flew in a A321neo with PW 1100G then shortly thereafter an A320ceo with CFM56. The neo is much quieter. It made a surprising difference to my comfort. Only the A380 was such a big step change.

        • Who are these airlines downsizing from 777W ?

          Its been selling very well in last 5 years even with 777X on the way ( eventually) and the 787 in full swing.

          Even the US carriers who avoided this model previously have been buying. Theres now 25 airlines who have 12 and above planes in their fleet, from Swiss with 12 to Emirates with 114.
          Thats 700 planes alone

          In Asian airlines its almost essential for the very long haul routes

          • Off the top of my head, IIRC Delta has gotten rid of it’s 777’s.

            It’s the same reason that the accounting block for the 777X has been reduced to 350, whereas the original variant sold almost 1700 with the EIS in 1995.

            So what is replacing these 777’s if not the 777X? Something bigger? The A-380? The 747-8?

            No….smaller equipment…from both OEM’s

          • This is the 777W or 777-300ER version
            Which the 777X will succeed

            The 777-200 passenger versions havent been in production for a long time – maybe one LR in last 10 years ?

            The A380 was so much larger again, say 30%

  19. On the subject of fledgling aircraft programs:
    “Indonesia Reportedly Validates Chinese Type Certificate of China’s ARJ21, Aircraft To Start Flying There As Early As August”


    On the subject of COMAC and China, one wonders if BA is counting on Chinese orders for its new BA narrowbody program(s) 🤔
    Better not to get hopes up…

    • A defunct airline is resurrected by it’s new owner a Chinese leasing company, probably forced by the leninist party state to buy the planes but even China no takers.
      I wish them well in their new adventures, of course!

      • I’m sure they’ll be delighted with your heartfelt warm wishes 🙂

        The real point here, of course, is Indonesia’s green-lighting of a plane that hasn’t been certified by the FAA — an event that a certain commenter here told us could/would never happen. It seems that he underestimated the extent to which the FAA has fallen from grace on the world stage.

        (p.s. You should be careful with the Lenist references because Jacinda is increasingly being compared to a dictator in the press…)

        • Duke is trying to get the comment section closed down again.

          But – on a side note; Isn’t China Maoist?

          Just sayin’…

          • Leninist, Maoist, Communist ..
            I’ve rarely seen those tags used in a fitting way.
            Just another form of cussing.

          • @Uwe: I warned Duke to drop the political commentary. That goes for you, too.


          • This is the non political version
            ‘The ARJ21, developed by the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, or COMAC, is the nation’s first homegrown passenger plane ‘
            [It is of course a DC-9 derivative with some suitable updates]

            ‘But the model has never been used by a carrier outside China. COMAC looks to finally break into overseas markets by leveraging its partnership with compatriot China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings (CALC).

            ‘The carrier-Transnusa- is now preparing to resume service, including using new ARJ21s provided by its controlling shareholder and COMAC strategic partner CALC.’

            Transnusas controlling shareholder seems to be COMAC in house leasing company.

            So sad about the other carrier who agreed to operate the ARJ-21

            ‘The Republic of Congo agreed to buy three jets, granting the model a type certificate in 2016, and sending pilots to train in China in 2018. COMAC has not said whether it actually ended up delivering ARJ21s to the Republic of Congo.’

          • Facts, not misinformation by naysayer


            -> […] In its 2020 to 2039 market outlook, Comac said that by the end of 2019, China (excluding Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan) operated a total of 59 regional jets. With the gradual withdrawal of the Embraer ERJ series and the entry of ARJ21-700, it said China’s regional fleet had gradually reached the stage where the ARJ21-700 and Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft stood as the main turbofan types.

            According to Comac, China’s One Two Three Airlines, a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines, operated three ARJ21s at the end of 2020 and expected to receive six in 2021 and eight in 2022. “By 2025, the size of the aircraft fleet will reach 35,” it said.

            China Southern Airlines’ first ARJ21 officially entered commercial service on July 15, 2020. Air China took its fourth ARJ21 in March 2021, on lease from CNAC Beijing Financial Leasing Company.

            “With the signing of purchase contracts for ARJ21-700 aircraft by China’s three major airlines and the delivery of the first one, as well as the improvement of the production capacity of Comac regional aircraft, the proportion of ARJ21-700 aircraft in China’s regional fleet continues to increase,” Comac said.

            Cirium fleets data indicates that Comac has delivered 66 ARJ21s to eight operators by the end of 2021, Rob Morris, global head of consultancy Ascend by Cirium, told AIN.

            “There were marginally fewer deliveries recorded last year: 21 compared to 23 in 2020,” he said. “The same data records a firm order backlog of 361 aircraft (from 13 airline and six operating lessor customers) for the ARJ21. Deliveries are expected to increase significantly in 2022 and to most importantly include the first export deliveries to TransNusa in Indonesia.” […]

          • -> In 2017, the former Director of Civil Aviation of Indonesia […] made a special trip to China to take ARJ-21 passenger planes.

      • Another uninformed/conspiracy poster.

        The Indonesian owner who still owns 51% of the airline, traveled to visit COMAC, expressed strong interest in the aircraft and believed it would be a good fit for local Indonesian market like FIVE years (or so) ago. Oh I love those who believe the pandemic is planned, so that Indonesian owner must have seen it coming and well prepared. Lol.

        Have you taken their flights? How well you know about the extensive Indonesian market? How many of its islands have you been there (other than the top tourist spots)?

    • Don’t mistake Indonesia as aviation backwater.

      It has its own aircraft manufacturer(s), including as a joint developer of CN-235.

  20. I don’t see how new “me-too” aircraft one in the 180-225 passenger range and the other 225-240 are going to revive Boeing unless they are:
    * inexpensive to manufacture
    * quick to ramp up

    The obvious candidates are moldable carbon reenforced thermoplastics.

    • * inexpensive to manufacture
      * quick to ramp up

      may I add “*Quality as Job #1”? (MAX, MCAS, FOD, 787,777-X,KC-46A, Starliner™..)

      Sarcasm aside, I’d like to see BCA begin to treat their line employees, engineers, and suppliers decently; that’d be a pre-requisite to a New Boeing Aircraft, as I see it.

    • It’s not even a ‘me-too’, is it?

      225-240 pax in a 2 class? The A321 has 206 pax in a 2-class.

      If what this guy says is true (and all of this I take with a huge grain of salt) it’s basically a re-made 757.

      So let’s look at some points:

      1) The 757 sold ~1000 units, with no competition in the space. Is the demand there for a clean sheet in that niche?

      2) As an operator, you can have a smaller A321Neo/LR/XLR (read; easier to fill) option, with proven engines, maintenance, service, parts availability etc.

      3) Is the step change in technology (read; efficiency) there, which would encourage airlines to spend the extra $15 million ($15 billion / 1000 units) premium BA would have to charge to make up the program capex?

      4) One of the selling points of the 797/NMA/MMA (Boeing really does corner the market on acronyms, don’t they?) was that a dual aisle, with a wider door – was going to make loading and unloading of the self loading freight (pax) much faster. Now we’re back to a single aisle with more people.

      5) What’s to stop the competition from dropping prices, because they have built up a war chest that hasn’t suffered a $20 billion Max loss, a 787 $3.5 billion program loss and a $6.5 billion 777X loss – killing your sales strategy?

      6) Engines?

      7) Engineering talent?

      8) Regulators?

      9) Competition. Can Airbus roll out an A-322 which can do the same thing, but at 10-15% of the capex and much sooner?


      Let’s just say that everything breaks BA’s way. They can get this done on time, with no cost over-runs and get the same amount of sales that the original 757 did.

      Heck, give ’em 2000 units sold. Let’s be really generous…

      They would still be behind Airbus by about 1800 NB aircraft sold, with the real Achilles heel of their products still there;

      an old, weak, work horse lineup.

  21. NBA EIS in 2028? Really, by time its said and done a 777 “upgrade” will take 11 years (The 777X was launched in November 2013) for EIS.

    They are doing this while on working on 777X freighter, what needs to be done to the 777x? bigger wing, different engine power?

    So why doesn’t the 787 become 787F? Still no real clear answer on 787 production halt for mature program (launch 2004).

    Does Boeing really have the “talent” left to launch a clean sheet commercial aircraft or is it Boeing Boeing Gone?

    • There is also the matter that the 787 is coming up on 20 years since EIS. How long will that go without a refresh?
      Then there is the competitive landscape that Airbus is a 4-aircraft company that got the low-end for free? Boeing is having a hard enough time being a 3-aircraft company let alone having the resources to launch two new aircraft for the first time in 40 years.

      • > There is also the matter that the 787 is coming up on 20 years since EIS. <

        Help me out here, and with what follows.

        • More like 12 years. 20 years back is 2002, and that was the 787 time it was ‘offered to market’

        • I stand corrected…meant to say 20 years since first offered. Point being the B787 is hardly a new design at this point.

          • Still cutting edge.

            The A350 is newer and as good in its class (well sans the paint failing problem) but not any more advanced, actually less so with Pneumatic system (aka Bleed air.)

            At this point, short of a form factor change its all small increments.

            There is a reason the MAX as has good a SFC as the A320. Short of composite wings that fan be fine tuned, there is no new ground to cut with a tube and wing with slung engines

          • “Still cutting edge.”

            Sure — new frames sitting on the ground for a year, production rate down to 2/mo, still no sign of a delivery resumption, a large “rework” cloud hanging over the head of existing frames, and an overall program loss.

            What a stellar plane!

  22. I think that for reality-based emphasis the first third of this article might have been better placed at its ending.

    Having said that, I’m slowly reading Scott H.’s ‘Air Wars’,
    and really enjoying it. I’m glad to have bought a copy-
    real books are a pleasure, especially these days. Quite different and better than what one sees on this or that screen.. cf Orwell, et al.

  23. If Boeing were in good shape otherwise I think
    this would be a decent “wait and see” moment.

    I don’t think that’s why they’re holding off, though,
    and think -as I and other have said before- that
    they need to show they can produce an acceptable and needed plane in a timely way.

    There could be all kind of factors (shhh.. China, China, China) that are not mentioned
    in polite company that are figuring in.. others
    would know that stuff better.

  24. Executive management at Boeing is focused on developing new methods of accounting and amortization of costs and is not interested in the pedestrian and painstaking process of designing new planes.
    They “create more value” with accounting than with engineering.

      • It’s sweet news from a ME carrier not named Qatar. It’s the old 80-20 rule. The problem children you leave for the competition to deal with. Let them break their balls…

  25. Actually it would be a B757 & B767 replacement, depending what range it will have. Valid to do.
    Engine is the most critical.

    Timeframe already looks tight, for the 87 they wanted to bring it down to 4 year – and they failed. Launched in 03/04, the first flight was 09 and the EIS in 11.
    7 years, and this was the fasted cert process for a new plane.
    With a way better relationship with the regulator and bearing the system for self certification, which directly lead to the batter issues and the Max disaster.

    So launch in 23 means EIS in 30. I don’t belive Boeing can speed it up.

    They would need substancial funds for it, 20bn. $.

    They need to get the Max running and cash flow positive, they need the B787 running and cash flow positive again, they need the B777x out of trouble and in the air.

    Boeing will do the HGW varriants of the 87 first, especially the B78T with more MTOW and range should be a threat for the A359.
    But it will likley be the end of the B778.

    They would need to lower debt considerably, before they can take a charge for a new program.

    And they need a solution for the fuselage, i’m pretty sure they won’t go with composite barrels again.

    Overall, it sound very, very ambitous and with high time pressure.
    Airbus can sit and wait the design freeze, and then react.

    I do see the market, as below B789 and A339 the next smaller relevant plane is the A321neo. That’s a large gap.

    • We discussed Boeings gap 300-350 seats 8000NM a long time ago. But the “party line” was still 777-8 & 787-10 will do just fine, despite the writing on the wall. Until Boeing says something else.

      IMO a 787-10 able to fly from Asia effectively with 320 passengers and cargo, a wing / payload range upgrade is required, which would probably push EIS. Just a new wing as minor change on the 777x didn’t convince the FAA, eventually.

      • I suspect the B787-9/10 is Boeings plan B in case of B777-9 certification issues.

        • Absolutely.
          With EASA getting tough on derivative status, the 777X certification process may be heading for an implosion.

          • Yes I meant the B7897-9/10 HGW versions but most folks realise. The B787-10 HGW in particular will cannibalise some B777-9 sales and the B787-9 HGW some B777-8 and B777-9. They would be reluctant to do that unless the B777-9 might be delayed longer.

            Of course they will also attack the A350-900/1000.

          • Scott is saying its the older 777-200 and 777-300ER models that the 787-10 is targeting, especially those airlines counter shopping against the 350-900

            The 777X models are way ahead in size as their rival is the 350-1000

          • “The 777X models are way ahead in size as their rival is the 350-1000”

            That’s the whole essence of the 777X demand drought — the plane is too big for the vast majority of airlines.

          • @Dukeofurl, Air NZ agonised over B777-9 versus B787-10. Range of the B787-10 being one issue. The B787-10 HGW might give them what they need.

          • Cant have agonised much at Air NZ , as more recent news says they are deferring delivery of the -10 model they ordered
            I seem to re member LNA saying at the time that the plane would have some unspecified extra range or payload which is what HGW does.
            Seems to me the HGW being talked about now is even more as the passenger 777-8X fades

  26. Is it possible that Boeing is following Bombardier’s path somehow? Starting to develop a new aircraft, getting hit by delays and other troubles, to then ending up in situations where the can’t finance the ramp up of the production, especially when expected sales are not pouring in in large numbers?

    I just don’t see how they could develop and certify a new aircraft in 5 years, and then producing it in good quality. Where should the required culture change coming from?

    • Not to mention: “Where will the required talent pool come from?”
      BA is suffering from an ongoing brain drain of nasty proportions.

    • I do not think that Boeing situation is as bad as Bombardier back in time. However, I will not be surprised that Boeing will have to sell some of its assets, not a whole division like BDS or BGS, but some parts of it, in order to reduce its debts.

      • Well if they can spend 450 million for some weird startup Wisk air taxi thingy then money is no object!

          • And…………….. Its a boatload (well planeload) of money for pie in the sky project.

            Bizzare. Not at all Calhoun like.

        • @TW

          450 million vs. 5 bilion (possibly much more)?? How many fingers do you have? Srsly do you know the difference btw a million and a billion?

  27. How many programs is BCA able to run concurrently after massive outflow of talents thru early retirements and attritions?? BA retored positive CF partly by cutting R&D over 40% in last two years.

  28. Facts, not misinformation by naysayer

    -> […] In its 2020 to 2039 market outlook, Comac said that by the end of 2019, China (excluding Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan) operated a total of 59 regional jets. With the gradual withdrawal of the Embraer ERJ series and the entry of ARJ21-700, it said China’s regional fleet had gradually reached the stage where the ARJ21-700 and Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft stood as the main turbofan types.

    According to Comac, China’s One Two Three Airlines, a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines, operated three ARJ21s at the end of 2020 and expected to receive six in 2021 and eight in 2022. “By 2025, the size of the aircraft fleet will reach 35,” it said.

    China Southern Airlines’ first ARJ21 officially entered commercial service on July 15, 2020. Air China took its fourth ARJ21 in March 2021, on lease from CNAC Beijing Financial Leasing Company.

    “With the signing of purchase contracts for ARJ21-700 aircraft by China’s three major airlines and the delivery of the first one, as well as the improvement of the production capacity of Comac regional aircraft, the proportion of ARJ21-700 aircraft in China’s regional fleet continues to increase,” Comac said.

    Cirium fleets data indicates that Comac has delivered 66 ARJ21s to eight operators by the end of 2021, Rob Morris, global head of consultancy Ascend by Cirium, told AIN.

    “There were marginally fewer deliveries recorded last year: 21 compared to 23 in 2020,” he said. “The same data records a firm order backlog of 361 aircraft (from 13 airline and six operating lessor customers) for the ARJ21. Deliveries are expected to increase significantly in 2022 and to most importantly include the first export deliveries to TransNusa in Indonesia.” […]

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