Delta Airline finds Boeing’s NMA(New Mid-market Airplanes) programme, “interesting” to replace its existing Boeing 757s and 767s in a long-term plan. Boeing is preparing a Business case study to develop an aircraft with a seating capacity between 200 and 270, to serve the mid-market segment. The aircraft will be between B737 Max-10/A321 and B787-8/A330-200/800. which is unofficially called Boeing 797.
Boeing publicly said at its investors day last September, there is a demand for mid-market airplanes is between 2,000 and 4,000 aircraft over 20 year, but Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and Leeham Co. estimate the market at between 2,000 to 2,500 and Airbus sees the demand at about 2,000 airplanes.
Delta is keen on the NMA program because it operates 200 plus B757s and 767s with average ageing from 15 to 22 years which need to be eventually replaced with newer models.
Boeing had been in talks with more than 57 of its customers about its new mid-market airplane concept and developing a business case to present it to the board. The estimated development cost would be between $10 billion to $15 billion and expects to sell a unit at $55 to $75 million.
However Airbus says that they are already into Mid Market with A330-800 and the A321neo..and John Leahy,COO-Customers of Airbus, with the LNC’s “retirement” interview said,“If you bring out an an-new, clean-sheet airplane, you’re taking a market there that is probably 2,000 airplanes. It’s not 4,000, and you’re spending $15bn to develop the airplane. You’ve got to amortize that and every airline is telling you $55m to $75m is all we’re going to pay for this light twin. You’ve got the engine guys telling you the engines are going to be very expensive. The numbers just don’t work.”
If Boeing gets the approval to develop, it could fly in 2023 and enter service in 2025.