According to Aviation Week, a survey by RBC Capital Markets found that many of Boeing’s top 737 customers would prefer to wait for a new plane than an updated, or “re-engined”, plane that would arrive sooner but not be as fuel-efficient as a replacement model.
A new survey of “most” of the top 25 737 customers by RBC Capital Markets finds a “resounding preference” for a next-generation replacement and predicts that Boeing’s customers will not defect to Airbus, which plans to bring a re-engined “A320NEO” to market in 2016, at least four years ahead of a potential 737 successor.
The article adds to the speculation, fueled by Boeing’s own suggestions, that the company will announce that it will not re-engine the 737 and instead, will launch a new plane to arrive sometime between 2020-2022.
RBC Capital Markets also noted in the report that it believes Boeing’s main competitor, Airbus, could see nearly 600 orders for its re-engined A320, dubbed “NEO”, by this summer’s Paris Air Show which is adding pressure on Boeing to make a decision and relay plans to current and potential customers.
Some of those customers, notably Southwest and Delta, have expressed frustration recently over Boeing’s lack of guidance on its plan in the narrow-body market as Boeing has yet to announce an official decision on the plane’s future.
With customers content with waiting for a new plane however, it is appearing more likely that Boeing will ultimately launch a new plane with some kind of an official announcement in the summer.