“In terms of the adaptation of the [A320neo], one of the things we’re trying to do to de-risk this program is very much focus on minimum change. And we are conscious because we’ve lots and lots of creative engineers. Our engineers love developing new ideas and developing new things, that’s what engineers want to do. Clearly if we’re not careful we could end up with a situation where this becomes an all new airplane, very, very easily, and so part of my job along with [Airbus A320 chief engineer Wolfgang Engler] and the team is to say that we have to have certain amount of realism into how we do this. We’re doing that because we want to keep a high degree of commonality, from a customer point of view, and because we want to have a de-risking in terms of the technical challenge of the program and a very fast ramp up.” - Tom Williams, Airbus executive vice president programmes
With the 767 already a major player in the transatlantic market, a 767NG would enable customers to maintain a great deal of fleet commonality and upgrade their medium range fleets with the NG while adding the 787 for their long-range operations. A fleet change is a traumatic event for an airline, with ramifications throughout the organization, including spares, MRO, and crew training. Upgrading a fleet maintains commonality and enables smoother, lower cost fleet transitions.
Air Insight suggests such a product that is complimentary to the 787 with a theoretical 12% fuel burn improvement from new engines, plus a further 4.4% reduction from winglets boosts the range of a 767-300ER to nearly 7,000nm with the 23,980gal of fuel already in the tanks. The 787′s 33,528gal delivers an 11% boost beyond the performance over a hypothetical 767NG, but does so with 40% more fuel.