As Airbus ponders the A220-500, Boeing shrugs

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By Scott Hamilton

June 12, 2023, © Leeham News: Boeing CEO David Calhoun says he’s not worried about the prospect of Airbus launching a stretched model of the A220 family.

Airbus has said it’s a matter of “when, not if” it launches the A220-500. This would be a direct competitor to the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737-8 MAX. Sales of the A320N are declining in favor of its larger sibling, the A321neo. The MAX 8 is Boeing’s bread-and-butter member of the MAX family.

Calhoun, during Boeing’s pre-Paris Air Show media briefing last month, said the -500 doesn’t give him heartburn. But he didn’t go into detail.

Darren Hulst. Credit: Darren Hulst.

Darren Hulst, VP of Commercial Marketing for Boeing, did the next day. Hypothetically, the value of the 737 family is probably best illustrated when you talk about the choice that an airline must make with a 320 base family or an A220 base, he said. Assuming Airbus goes forward—which it said is not going to happen at the Air Show beginning next week—Hulst said the market will decide its success of failure.

  • Commonality vs capacity.
  • No growth opportunity after A220-500.
  • Limited market for the A220-500; the market may have passed the -500 by.

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