There’s no current business case for reviving the Boeing 757.
Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said there isn’t sufficient need for that model plane when he was asked about the still-popular long-range single-aisle aircraft at the Barclays Industrial Select Conference in Miami Wednesday.
The Boeing 757 is larger than any of the current 737s, but with the same fuselage.
“We don’t think it’s needed short or immediate term, based on discussions with our customers,” he said. “If you got back to the ’57 mission, 80 percent of that is handled by longer-range narrow bodies. There is a niche mission over water. That’s a pretty small niche right now.”
The 757s have been popular for trans-Atlantic crossings.
But now, part of that niche mission may be taken up by larger-range version of the Airbus A321neo, an aircraft that is slightly larger than the comparable Boeing 737 Max 9.
McNerney’s comments were in concert with Boeing Marketing Vice President Randy Tinseth, who last week said Boeing has no plans to offer an immediate 757 successor during questions at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance annual convention.
McNerney on Wednesday said the discussions with airlines are leading in the direction of a somewhat larger aircraft, although he didn’t say how large.
“I think at some point that niche will clarify, and it will be something above the larger narrow body and below two smaller wide bodies,” he said.
He was referring to single-aisle aircraft like the 737, which are also often called “narrow bodies,” compared to larger twin-aisle aircraft, also called “wide bodies.”
Finding the right niche will indeed be subtle because the smallest 787-8 seats 242 in two classes, while the largest 737 Max 9 will seat about 180 in two classes.
That’s a 62-seat gap, larger than the 50-seat spread often considered ideal between models, but narrow for the multi-billion-dollar cost of creating a new aircraft to fit between.
“No business case would close today as we look at it, which doesn’t mean pretty far in the future it would not,” McNerney said Wednesday.