The Boeing Company is struggling to agree on an idea regarding what kind of midsize jet they should build to compete with the Airbus A321neo.
The two options they have, as they see it, are to create a bigger and better version of the 737 MAX, or to create an entirely new 797 aircraft. Chief Ray Conner of Boeing Commercial Airplanes has expressed his desire to finalize decision sometime this year.
Ideas for a replacement has been described as a “757 on steroids”. Their idea is for it to carry over 200 passengers and a range of nearly 5,200 miles. The process of building an entirely new aircraft would obviously be very complex, so they would have to find a solution that fits the budget.
"These are questions that involve multibillion-dollar decisions, they involve questions about where you build this airplane," said Steven Udvar-Hazy, chief executive of Air Lease Corp. (ALC), and one of the leaders in the aviation industry, "It's not whether Boeing can build a good airplane, but can they build it cost efficiently.”
It is completely up to Boeing whether or not they want to disclose information such as development costs with partners, what sort of materials to build it out of, and where the jet will be built. No word has been given so far regarding their decision on this.
Boeing’s 757 went out of production in 2006, and is now only used sparingly. Previously, it was beloved by airlines due to its power and range compared to other single-aisle jets. If they were to build an upgraded version to compete with the A321neo, it would open up transatlantic flight routes such as Chicago to Manchester and Newark to Barcelona. Some airlines are seeing their 757’s age pretty quickly, so a replacement for them could be needed sooner rather than later.