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Boeing defends 100-150 seat market interest during trade hearing

Despite Bombardier’s claims to the contrary, Boeing’s top commercial executive defended the company’s interests in the 100-150-seat market and the availability of production slots for the 737 Max 7 in testimony on 18 December in an International Trade Commission hearing.

The ITC must decide if Boeing is harmed financially by alleged subsidies from the UK and Canadian governments for the 110- and 130-seat variants of the CSeries.

Bombardier argues that the Boeing’s interests in the commercial market focus on larger aircraft segments than the 135-seat 737 Max 7, which hasn’t won a major new order since 2013.

But Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Kevin McAllister rejects that argument.

“I assure this is completely false,” McAllister says. “We absolutely care about this airplane.”

Boeing has invested “significant resources” to design and develop the 737 Max 7. In addition to replacing the CFM International CFM56 engine with the Leap-1B and adding new winglets, Boeing lengthened the fuselage to increase capacity and reduce seat-mile costs compared to the 737-700.

Bombardier also has claimed that Boeing has no capacity to deliver a new 737 Max 7 until 2022, due to a sold out production backlog for its single-aisle aircraft family overall.

But McAllister says Boeing can accommodate any customer that needs deliveries of any of the 737 Max variants in near term, with options that include shuffling production slots and increasing rates overall.

“There’s not a realistic scenario where we would turn down a major order due to capacity,” McAllister says.

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