Entry into service of a new Airbus single aisle aircraft is not likely to happen until about 2017-2020, and probably not until the latter part of that timeframe.
People are "smoking something" if they say we really need to come up with a new narrowbody sooner than now being projected, said Airbus chief operating officer, customers John Leahy this morning during the International Society of Transport Aircraft (ISTAT) in Orlando, Florida.
The A320 family has "only been around for about 20 years" notes Leahy, adding that at the end of February, Airbus had achieved a total 6,112 firm orders for the A320 narrowbody family. The impetus is currently not there to replace that with a new single-aisle in the nearer term. "Why would we?" asks Leahy
The timeline for a next-generation narrowbody, he says, will be driven by new engine technology. How the new fuselage would look is still being considered. Perhaps it would be a composites-rich airframe, but that still remains to be seen, he says.
Recently, airline executives have repeatedly called for Boeing and Airbus to speed-up their next generation narrowbody development, with CFO of United parent UAL Corp Jake Brace noting his company is “very interested” in a narrowbody replacement that “neither of the manufacturers is offering yet”.
Source: flightglobal.com's sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news