Boeing moves EIS target for NMA to 2027: sources

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Introduction

Dec. 4, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Officially, Boeing says the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA, or 797) entry-into-service will be around 2024-25 if the program is launched.

LNC has learned the target date now being discussed is 2027.

Boeing 797 concept. Source: Boeing.

This means the 737 replacement likewise slips, with EIS after 2030 instead of late next decade or in 2030.

The new NMA target date, which we’ve heard from the supply chain and customer base, gives further impetus to the prospect of restarting the 767-300ER passenger production, a decision that is supposed to be made by the end of this year.

Summary
  • Technology is at the heart of the new target EIS for the NMA.
  • The 737 replacement was always intended to follow the NMA.
  • Supply chain asked for 767 production rate ramp-up feasibility.

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New mission focus seen for NMA

Nov. 8, 2017, © Leeham Co.: A revised mission focus for the the prospective Boeing New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA) is seen by a New York research firm.

Bernstein Research sees the NMA being redefined as a larger aircraft serving the Airbus A320/Boeing737 market rather than a replacement for the Boeing 757/767 “Middle of the Market” sector.

Bernstein has been cool to the prospect of a 4,500nm-5,000nm airplane. The analyst, Doug Harned, likes the proposed size—220-270 passengers in a 2x3x2 ovoid

Concept of the Boeing 797 New Midmarket Aircraft. Source: fs2000.org.

composite fuselage configuration. But he sees a stronger market serving ranges of 1,000nm to 4,500nm.

So far, there is no market intelligence LNC knows of to support any inference Boeing has refocused the mission statement of the NMA, also known as the Boeing 797, though Harned is firm in his view: “The focus is now on the NMA category, which we see as the right positioning,” he writes in a Nov. 6 research note.

Airlines LNC checked with yesterday reaffirm Boeing’s focus at this time to be 4,500nm-5,000nm.

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Boeing-Embraer venture in response to Airbus-Bombardier? Don’t count on it

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Introduction

Oct. 23, 2017, © Leeham Co.: With the tie-up announced last Monday between Airbus and Bombardier for the CSeries, speculation immediately turned to whether Boeing and Embraer will join forces in some fashion in response.

The speculation is natural. Boeing and Embraer have had several commercial agreements, mostly on the defense side but also in eco-research. But as yet, there hasn’t been a tie-up involving the successful E-Jet program.

Embraer E195-E2.

Don’t look for anything soon that would be a meaningful response to the Airbus-CSeries deal.

Summary
  • Boeing needs a response in the 125-150 seat sector in which the 737-7 MAX languishes and with which the CS300 competes.
  • Boeing has no product offering in the 100-125 seat sector. Embraer doesn’t need Boeing’s help here. The E175-E1 continues to sell and it meets US Scope Clauses.
  • The Embraer E2 program’s first delivery is April next year.
  • Embraer isn’t about to proceed with a new airplane program in the 100-150 seat sector, which is Boeing’s product gap.

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Boeing ponders restart of 767-300ER passenger line

Oct. 19, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing is nearing a decision whether to restart the 767-300ER passenger line, LNC has learned.

The company is in discussions for 50-60 aircraft, market intelligence indicates.

Boeing declined comment, saying it does not discuss conversations with customers.

United Airlines Boeing 767-300ER. Photo via Google images

But sources indicate that the prospect of restarting the 767-300ER passenger line could serve as interim lift until the prospective entry-into-service of the Boeing New Midrange Aircraft, now commonly called the 797, for the Middle of the Market sector.

LNC on Aug. 14 speculated that relaunching the 767-300ER could be a good tactical move on Boeing’s part.

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Boeing’s tactical option for MOM sector

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Introduction

Aug. 14, 2017, © Leeham Co.: It’s not a done deal yet—the business for the so-called Boeing 797 remains a challenge. But the consensus is that Boeing will launch the program next year, for an entry-into-service around 2025.

Boeing 797 concept. Source: Boeing.

Yet there are airlines that say they don’t want to wait that long for a new airplane.

What are their choices?

  • Acquire the Airbus A330-200. It’s available now. Fuel is cheap and is expected to remain so well into the next decade.
  • Acquire the A330-800. It’s fairly cheap. It’s about 10% less expensive to operate on a per-trip basis than the A330-200. The new engines will serve as a hedge against rising fuel prices for an indefinite future.
  • Acquire the Boeing 787-8.
  • Airbus ponders an A321neo+.
  • There’s another option that is not readily apparent.

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Pontifications: JADC 20-year forecast: VLA, NMA and other data

By Scott Hamilton

July 24, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The Japan Aircraft Development Corp (JADC) just published its 2017-2037 jet and turboprop forecast. JADC forecasts a demand for 33,336 jet airliners and some 2,000 turboprops.

JADC is partly owned by Mitsubishi, which is developing the MRJ70/90 and which is on several Boeing programs.

I like the JADC forecast because it segments the seating categories in more detail than Airbus and Boeing and somewhat differently than Bombardier and Embraer.

I also view JADC as having less of an axe to grind than the Big Four OEMs.

A couple of quick take-aways:

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Business case for NMA remains uncertain

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Introduction

July 17, 2017, © Leeham Co.: We’re half way through 2017. Boeing reported orders through July 11, a week ago. Airbus won’t update its July orders until the end of the month.

Through July 11, Boeing reported 116 net wide-body orders: 15 for the 767, 33 for the 777 and 75 for the 787. Net cancellations of -7 for the 747 are included in the net 116 figure.

The 15 767s were not commercial models, however, but 767-2C tankers for the USAF.

Over at Airbus, none of China’s 40 commitments announced July 5 for 40 A350s are in the June summary, and won’t be in the Orders tally until the commitments turn into firm orders. Through June, airbus had net 26 widebody orders: three A330-200s and 29 A350-900. There were cancellations of four A330-800s and two A380s.

If the 40 China A350s were included, this would bring Airbus to 66 widebody orders, still well short of Boeing’s YTD figure.

Summary
  • Airbus product gap widens as A330-200/800 stalls.
  • Boeing 787 strength comes from 787-9; 787-8 remains minor player.
  • Middle of the Market business case still unproved.

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Interest seen in Boeing’s “797,” says lessor

May 16, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Air Lease Corp., one of the world’s leading lessors, sees

John Plueger, CEO of Air Lease Corp.

a “quite a bit” of interest from its customers in the prospective Boeing Middle of the Market aircraft, says its CEO, John Plueger.

Speaking at the Airfinance Journal conference in New York today, Plueger acknowledged with some push from moderator Mark Streeter of JP Morgan that pricing needs to be in today’s dollars in the $70m-$75m range.

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How Airbus can kill the Boeing 797

Artisit concept of the Boeing 797. Rendering via Google images.

May 10, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Airbus can kill the business case for the prospective Boeing 797, the New Midrange Aircraft also known as the Middle of the Market Airplane,

All it has to do is move first, instead of waiting for Boeing to launch the 797, something considered likely next year.

If Airbus launched what is commonly called the A322, a larger, longer-range version of the A321neo, the new version would become a true replacement for the Boeing 757, meet economics of the smaller 797, which has a working title of the 797-6, at a much lower capital cost.

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Could an NMA be made good enough? Part 6

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

April 27, 2017, © Leeham Co.: We have in several articles gone through the sizing of an NMA (New Midrange Aircraft). We looked at the fuselage, cabin, wings and engines. Now we will sum the exercises and look at the performance of the resulting aircraft.

Boeing is seriously considering launching an NMA. The key to the launch decision will be the airplane’s economics: for development and production as well as operation.

The idea is the NMA shall have “twin aisle comfort with single aisle economics.” We will now use or performance model to analyze if the final aircraft has these characteristics.

Summary:

  • An NMA designed to the principles in our articles will have a seven abreast dual aisle cabin. The cabin will increase passenger comfort in the 200 to 260 seat range and speed ground operations.
  • Careful design of the fuselage, paired with a modern wing and engines, would produce an NMA with “dual aisle comfort and single aisle economics.”

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