Boeing continues working toward development of a new commercial aircraft, though chief executive David Calhoun has disclosed few details.
Calhoun mentioned the project during the company’s third-quarter earnings call on 28 October.
“We have some incredible underlying technologies that are going to support the point-design for that next airplane,” Calhoun says. “We are going to assess this market, based on everything that has happened in the last year, and probably the next year.”
That review will enable Boeing to “call out that point design, and pull these underlying technologies that we think will create a winning airplane”.
In recent years, Boeing toyed with the idea of developing its so-called New Mid-market Airplane (NMA). As envisioned, that jet would have had 4,000-5,000nm (7,400-9,300km) range and carry some 270 passengers.
Earlier this year, Boeing put the NMA programme on ice. It has since slashed production and cut staff in response to the coronavirus-driven downturn, leaving open questions about future aircraft programmes.
“We are not out of the development business,” Calhoun says. “This deferral of the NMA, or whatever that slot was, is actually going to advantage us in determining the point-design, based on what I think are some changing market conditions.”
In recent days, several news outlets reported that Boeing has been discussing with customers a new 200-250-seat passenger jet.