is dismissing ’ claims that it will launch a clean-sheet narrowbody design early next year because of flagging sales for its 737 MAX re-engined offering, adding that an all-new aircraft is not scheduled until “well into the next decade.”
Airbus Chief Operating Officer-Customers John Leahy told reporters last week that suppliers and airlines had informed him of Boeing’s plans. He also detailed fuel burn advantages of the NEO family over the current 737 and 737 MAX, adding that even with a clean-sheet product “it wouldn’t be a disaster” for the Airbus-proposed narrowbody, which Leahy says has broken all sales records since its launch last year.
The U.S. manufacturer, however, refutes Leahy’s comments. “Since the launch of the MAX with 496 commitments from five customers on Aug. 30, demand has grown to more than 700 commitments from nine customers. We are pleased with the work completed to date as we continue finalizing the airplane configuration. We know the MAX will have the lowest operating costs in the single-aisle segment with a 7% advantage over the competition,” says Boeing.
“With regard to future product development, we don’t see a new airplane emerging until well into the next decade. As we always do, we continue to evaluate the best low-risk solution for a new development program and production system architecture. We continue to evaluate technologies, airplane configurations, production systems and market needs for all airplane segments,” the airframer adds.
This mirrors Airbus’ own plans for a new narrowbody program, which Leahy again confirmed is not scheduled until 2030 at the earliest. “The technology is just not available,” said the Airbus executive.