MIAMI – Boeing, the American plane maker behemoth, has the construction of a new single-aisle aircraft in mind to cope with the crisis brought by investments made in the Boeing 737 MAX and the global pandemic.

Airbus has been more successful in this period thanks to the newcomer of the A320neo family, the A321XLR, which was a hit at the last Paris Air Show.

Boeing 737 MAX-9 Photo: Boeing

A New NMA Airplane

The new single-aisle aircraft would have interest from both major airlines and leasing companies. With a capacity of 200 to 250 passengers, it would cover the hole left by both the 737 MAX and the 787 Dreamliner.

Could the new NMA be successful? Boeing launched the 757 in 1982, an aircraft that made the Seattle company’s fortunes. This aircraft was designed for both medium and long-range flights. It is still used today by many companies, especially American ones.

Delta Air Lines (DL) and United Airlines (UA) were (and still are) the main users of this aircraft, also called the ‘pencil’ due to its shape.

Having sold in 1049 units, Boeing launched it in two versions: the 757-200 and 757-300. The 200 version has a maximum capacity of 239 passengers while the 300 version, 295 passengers. With a range of 7220km, it is used on American domestic routes, and in the past years, it was also used for long-haul flights.

Boeing also launched its cargo version, where DHL, together with FedEx, are the main users for their cargo flights.

Boeing 757-200 powered by Rolls Royce RB211-5B4. The peculiarity of this engine is that it has 3 shafts. Photo: Boeing

The leak about a New Boeing 767

For months now, there have been talks of a new NMA from Boeing, and among the various rumors, there was also talks of a possible new 797. The improvements to be made to a possible new 797 would be a new fuselage in carbon fiber, new engines (GEnx), and new avionics.

The capacity would go from 160 seats to 240 seats, though initially it was thought it would go up to around 220-270 seats with a range of 5000 nautical miles (9600 km).

Boeing 797 concept Photo: Dj’s aviation Youtube

The Boeing Crisis

The fatal crash of the two 737 MAX surely brought Boeing closer to collapse. The Seattle-based company has a loss of US$18.7bn. This loss led to a downsizing of production across the board. Also, due to the global pandemic, Boeing has delivered less than 100 aircraft since the beginning of the year.

It seemed there could be an upsurge with the launch of the brand new 777x, but between the engine problems and the ongoing pandemic, deliveries have been postponed to 2022. The first deliveries would go to Lufthansa (LH), which has been named the launch company with an order for 20 aircraft (with 12 other options).

The launch is followed by Emirates (EK), British Airways (BA), and ANA (NH). Additionally, Cathay Pacific (CX), confirmed that the 21 777x on order will be delivered starting in 2025.

In light of all this, we can probably put an end to the 737 MAX story. The aircraft underwent all test flights from the various bodies (FAA, with Steve Dickson on board) and EASA. The latter said it was very satisfied with the new aircraft modifications.

Furthermore, American Airlines (AA) said it will re-introduce the MAX in December this year, while Ryanair (FR) will receive the first MAX -200 in 2021.

Featured image: Boeing 777-9x first flight 01/25/2020 from Everett Airport (KPAE). Photo: Brandon Farris