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  • Boeing 737 Re-Engining Debate Has Familar Airbus Ring
    Posted by Robert Wall 8:26 AM on Apr 19, 2011

    As Boeing mulls what to do on the 737 renewal front -- its own version of the 'To NEO or Not to NEO' drama -- the words coming out of Seattle are starting to sound a lot like those that came out of Toulouse before Airbus settled on a re-engining strategy.

    As my colleague Guy Norris reports (here) Boeing is now saying it will not ready to announce its plans at the Paris Air Show (#PAS11), instead it will provide only more guidance. Airbus last year faced a similar conundrum. At one point, the aircraft maker was thinking it might be able to announce its A320 renewal plan at Farnborough, but NEO was not launched until December of that year.

    In Airbus's case, it simply took longer to figure out how to assign engineering resources even once a strategic decision was taken to reengine. The situation for Boeing is likely similar, as it too finds its engineering teams stretched already across a range of activities -- finishing off the 787, the 747-8, and figuring out what to do with the 777.

    Boeing's Mike Bair notes airlines would prefer a new aircraft; Airbus was being told the same in the run up to its decision.

    The betting in Toulouse is that Boeing will end up with a 737NEO, although Airbus chief salesman, John Leahy, says his rival may first announce a new aircraft, and then reverse course sometime later.

    Tags: tw99, Boeing, Airbus, NEO, PAS11

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