Airliners: Boeing ‘797’ Launch Pushed Back after 737 Crisis
AIRLINERS – Boeing will be launching a new plane much later than analysts’ expectations as the company tries to resolve the ongoing crisis over its 737 Max planes.
According to Jefferies analysts, Boeing was ready to announce its new midsized aircraft last March. However, the second of two fatal crashes occurred, involving its 737 Max model, an event that killed a total of 346 people.
At present, the Max planes are still grounded around the world. US investigators are probing how the model was approved by regulators.
“There has been a lot of speculation about a potential NMA launch, although tempered by the 737 MAX grounding,” said Jefferies analysts Sheila Kahyaoglu and Greg Konrad. “However, this appears pushed out [with its entry into service] from 2025 likely extending to 2028.”
NMA, which means New Middle Market Aircraft, is tagged by industry insiders as the 797. This is a concept believed to replace Boeing’s 757 and 767 models.
Jefferies analysts think that there will be two versions of the NMA- one 220- to 250-passenger jet and a 240- to 290-passenger jet.
Boeing has said before that it expects to decide on the launch of the NMA in 2020. However, the company might have to do that until it resolves the 737 fiasco.
Boeing is coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration to fix the system that was considered to cause the crashes.
One Pilot in the Cockpit
Meanwhile, news has surfaced that the new commercial jet design could come with a cockpit for only one pilot.
In the last few months, analysts have asked executives at airlines and leasing companies about what they would want from any new Boeing offering.
The results said that since the NMA would kick off from a completely fresh design. Airline executives would see scope for only one plot in the plane.
A second pilot, who will be on the ground, would be able to “monitor several aircraft” at the same time.
A one-pilot aircraft could save Boeing millions of dollars in salaries and training expenses. The note from analysts said that the technology to do this is still 10 years away. However, Boeing customers would think that such a feature would be “valuable”.
In February, Boeing Research and Technology Vice-President Charles Toups said that such jets would start with cargo flights. It would take a “couple of decades” before passengers could feel secure with the jets.
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