Boeing CEO does not completely rule out narrowbody re-engining

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If Boeing concludes it cannot deliver a new narrowbody aircraft in the 2019-2020 timeframe, then a re-engined product might emerge in the airframer's portfolio.

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney offered that assessment during a 2 June presentation at the Sanford C. Bernstein strategic decisions conference.

McNerney has recently said Boeing should render a decision regarding a next-generation narrowbody within the next nine months.

During his 2 June discussion McNerney explained: "If we don't get convinced the plane comes together in 2019 or 2020, then the re-engining option could make sense."

A large portion of a new design would be based on 787 technology, "which has been a tough development for us", said McNerney. But now that the technology is in place, it is matter of "slipping into a new application those hard-fought technologies that we finally got through on the 787".

"So the technical risk is a lot lower than it would be on a 787 development," McNerney stated.

However, if applying those technologies results in a new aircraft emerging in the 2025 or 2028 time period, "the re-engining option would be more attractive", said McNerney.

In its single-aisle research in 2011 Boeing is evaluating market opportunities and technology options to best meet the future needs of its customers, McNerney explained. "We're engaging them in the process to ensure we get the right answer."