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Success of Max 10 to dictate Boeing's NMA: Ascend

Boeing's NMA strategy could depend on the reception of its 737 Max programme, Flight Ascend Consultancy has suggested.

"Boeing's performance in the 737 market will impact its decision on this airplane because right now the Max 10 is a competitive response to the A321LR," said the consultancy's head Rob Morris at an industry briefing in New York on 17 October.

Given Airbus's majority market share with the A320neo, "Boeing needs to give it a bit of time to see what happens", he adds, noting that only time will tell if the US manufacturer is able to reach equilibrium with its European rival.

Morris says that today there are still more questions than answers about Boeing's New Mid-market Airplane and whether it will look more like a 757 replacement, a 767-200, or an A321LR.

The Max 10 "is not the panacea that Boeing thinks it would be... to create equilibrium" in market share with the A321LR, Morris opines. He adds: "So what do Boeing do next, if they can't correct with a Max derivative? Maybe they launch with an MoM [middle-of-the-market] airplane" – which could potentially have negative consequences for longevity of the 737 Max product line.

Morris suggests that an appropriate delivery price for a middle-of-the-market aircraft would be about $70-75 million, given its market position between the top end of the existing single-aisle programmes and bottom end of small twin-aisles. But he questions whether that price would make economic sense against the development costs of the aircraft. "There are many more questions to be answered," he notes.

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