Boeing plans to develop new airplane to replace 737 MAX by 2030

Wed Nov 5, 2014 12:05pm EST
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By Stanley Carvalho

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote) has sketched out plans to develop an all-new aircraft, with new engines and likely a composite structure, to replace its 737 MAX jetliner by 2030, Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney said on Wednesday.

The airplane will be slightly larger than the 737 but its shape won't change dramatically from the current fuselage. The push for the new aircraft was being driven by competition from China and elsewhere, he said at an innovation summit.

"By 2030 we will have a new airplane," he said, adding there's "a good chance it will be a composite airplane."

"It will be slightly bigger, there will be new engines. The current look of the planes (shape) won’t change dramatically," McNerney said.

Chinese planemaker COMAC is developing the C919 jet to compete with the 737 and the Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) A320. The jet has been delayed until end-2015.

Other competitors include Russia’s MS-21 and the slightly smaller Bombardier (BBDb.TO: Quote) CSeries from Canada.

McNerney said an all-new 737 MAX replacement was needed "because the new entrants would do something like MAX."

Boeing has nearly 100 years of aircraft experience and "we cannot give up that advantage because competing on costs alone would be difficult," he said. "Innovation is the only answer, there’s no easy way around."   Continued...

The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in Chicago, April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young