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Boeing sees large narrowbodies appeal in Asia

Boeing expects that larger variants of the 737, or even a new middle-of-the-market aircraft will have major appeal to operators in Asia-Pacific.

Speaking during a presentation at the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines’ annual Assembly of Presidents, senior vice-president of sales in Asia-Pacific and India Dinesh Keskar, said that carriers in the region, especially those in Oceania, “have a significant interest in the middle of the market airplane”.

He noted that low-cost carriers Lion Air and VietJet have already shown great interest in the 737-9, and are also expected to show similar interest in a future 757 replacement aircraft that would have a range of 4,500nm and capacity of around 250 seats.

“When you have that kind of situation, you always start looking at the lowest seat-mile costs and obviously if you have more seats it will give you that, for anybody who wants anything bigger than the 737 Max,” Keskar added.

For now though, Boeing is continuing to study the market and has not yet made any decisions on what option it will chose to compete against Airbus’s A321neoLR, which the manufacturer has put forward as a natural replacement for the ageing 757.

At the same event, Keskar presented Boeing’s Current Market Outlook for southeast Asia and Oceania.

The airframer forecasts that Southeast Asia will need 3,860 new aircraft worth $565 billion over the next 20 years, of which 77% will be narrowbody aircraft.

“This is because of the LCC domination and because of the number of hours that the flights are,” said Keskar.

As for the Oceania market, Boeing expects that it will need 1,020 new aircraft valued at $160 billion over the next 20 years. They will be comprised of 800 single-aisle jets, 130 small widebodies and 90 medium-sized widebodies. It also sees no demand for large widebodies in the region.

“Clearly we think that the single-aisle airplane is going to be the major airplane in the market there, said Keskar.

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