Boeing’s new midsize airplane (NMA) concept has been around at least five years, with plenty of anticipation and discussion. Yet Boeing’s January announcement that it would defer a firm industrial launch decision to 2020—with an authorization to offer this year—clearly indicated that the program is far from certain. This long and uncertain run-up is highly unusual for a new Boeing project. Boeing’s NMA delays are understandable, though. As a business case, it ...

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