Boeing Still Contemplating Whether to Launch New Mid-Sized Jet

Boeing is still considering whether to launch a new mid-sized jet. Earlier this month, the aerospace manufacturing giant said it hadn’t made a decision yet. Market analysts were initially predicting that Boeing will release the new mid-sized jet to probe demand by airlines. When Boeing launches a new jet, it usually allows airline carriers to place orders early so that it can gauge overall demand for it. But Boeing says it hasn’t decided whether to accept orders on its mid-sized jet yet.

When will Boeing make this critical decision exactly? According to the company’s chief executive offer (CEO), Boeing will announce whether it will launch the new mid-sized jet sometime next year.

“So this year’s decision is what we call authority to offer. That’s based on the business case and our ability to go and have deep, detailed discussions with customers,” said Muilenburg. “And then, depending on the market response and our ability to build the right kind of group of launch customers, then we get to an official launch, or authority to launch, decision next year,” he added.

Boeing’s new mid-sized jet is being referred to as the New Midsize Airplane (NMA). The NMA project can be traced back to 2015, during which Boeing said that it was exploring market conditions to determine if there was enough demand to support the design and development of a new mid-sized jet. Boeing has since come up with two variants for the NMA. The first variant will support up to 225 passengers and offer a range of up to 5,000 nautical miles, whereas the second variant will support up to 275 passengers and offer a range of up to 4,500 nautical miles.

According to Wikipedia, Boeing’s projected price tag of $65 million to $75 million for the NMA means it should generate nearly one-third more revenue than the company’s existing narrow-body jets. Furthermore, the highly efficient design of the NMA should reduce operating costs for airlines by up to 40% than Boeing’s wide-body jets. The drawback to the NMA, however, is the project’s total price tag of an estimated $12 billion to $15 billion.

If Boeing proceeds to launch the NMA, it would likely enter the commercial aircraft market in 2025. Considering that some of Boeing’s existing jets are expected to retire around this same time, it would allow airliners to purchase and the NMA as a replacement for their aging 757 and 767 jets. Of course, you’ll have to wait until 2020 for an official word on whether Boeing will even launch the NMA.