Since Airbus opted to launch the A320NEO (New Engine Option) late last year, representatives for the European aircraft maker have repeatedly noted they have done so because the technology is not ready for an all-new aircraft.
But Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Jim Albaugh has a slightly different view. “When our competitor says they don’t have the technology for a new small airplane until 2030 or even 2035, we believe their technology won't be ready.” However, he adds, Boeing has the technology it needs.
In fact, Albaugh tells the Royal Aeronautical Society that Boeing could build an aircraft 20% more efficient than the A320NEO. The question now is whether customers will demand more, given the increasing cost of fuels. That new small aircraft, as Boeing refers to the project, should reach service around 2019.
A design for a reengined 737 is already ready in case Boeing opts to go that route. A decision is due by year end.