Airbus CEO Tom Enders says he doubts Boeing will drop the 737 MAX soon in favor of an all-new design. “I have heard that rumor, too,” he says. “But it would be difficult to convince the engine makers to spend more money on another major program.”

Talk about Boeing possibly pulling development of a new single-aisle forward is linked to its struggles to re-engine the 737NG and reach the same fuel burn improvement promised by Airbus for its A320NEO. Airbus says the aircraft will use 15% less fuel than the classic A320 variant. Key suppliers also are doubtful. One executive notes that Boeing has booked serious commitments with important customers on the MAX. Reversing course would be difficult.

Enders also believes that “our colleagues seem to be a bit nervous if they accuse us of [conducting] a price war.” There have been allegations that Airbus is offering the NEO at deep discounts.