MIAMI — Will the 757 be making a MAX-style comeback? The answer, it appears, is no.
Rumors that the jet could make a glorious return to the skies were squelched by Boeing on Tuesday, who first reported the news to the Puget Sound Business Journal. The company has since also confirmed the news to Airchive.
“The answer is no,” said Boeing spokesperson Doug Alder-Jr in a flat rejection of the possibility.
Speculation began to mount back at the Singapore Airshow in February of this year, when comments made by Boeing’s sales director suggested there was a place in the market for a 757-style airplane. The issue again made waves when the website Motley Fool, which specializes in financials, posted a story suggesting the 757 MAX may already be in the works.
Even if the company was interested, and again, it says “we don’t see a 757 MAX at all”, it is a bit busy with several other projects at the moment. Alder noted this, stating that the company is presently focusing on “investing in our new products from the 737 MAX to the 787 to the 777X.”
Consequently Alder said that the company does not “see a new airplane emerging until well into the next decade.” So while the 757 may never again see the light of the day on Boeing production lines, the door is still open to something of similar capability and capacity down the road.
The 757 had a reputation for being an exceptionally capable airplane, able to operate efficiently out of hot and high airports, and run routes ranging from the US to South America to the US to Europe. While Boeing’s own 737 MAX 9 and Airbus’ A321neo can replace much of the 757s role, neither is a 100% replacement, particularly when it comes to performance.
As a result we’ve said before that a market exists for a 200-240 seat airplane with the capacity and range of the 757, but a build quality closer to a Dreamliner. Roll-out of such a jet, which would likely be clean sheet, could be expected around 2025, after the bulk of the development is long done on Boeing’s current projects.
Meanwhile, the 757 remains surprisingly popular despite its age. According to Airfleets.net, roughly 850 of the jets are still in service out of the 1,049 delivered.
The airplane was designed to replace the company’s venerable 727 aircraft, and first flew on February 19, 1982. Former US carrier Eastern Air Lines launched the jet on January 1, 1983. The airplane went on serve dozens of airlines worldwide. It’s high capacity, for a narrowbody, and short runway performance capability made it a popular airplane in congested airports such as New York LaGuardia and Washington Reagan. It ended production in 2004, with the last airplane delivered in 2005.