Boeing should develop a new family of aircraft, including a replacement for the 757, when it establishes a plan for developing a successor to its 737 series; Mitsubishi must build a 100-seat regional jet if it wants to be a serious competitor in the market. These are the latest words of wisdom from Air Lease chairman and chief executive Steven Udvar-Hazy.

At the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading conference in Scottsdale, Arizona earlier this month, the leasing giant offered the following piece of advice to Boeing: "All I can tell you is our recommendation to Boeing, and we've bought over 800 new Boeing airplanes, is to build an aircraft family rather than a single-sized model, and that family hopefully will encompass at the upper end an airplane that could replace the 757."

Hazy 445
 © Tracey Morris

A twin-aisle narrowbody is also worth considering as part of such a family, adds Udvar-Hazy. "In all of the studies that we have done and in talking to airlines, you can turn a twin-aisle faster if you have good passenger access," he says.

"My feeling is that to be a really effective airplane above 200 seats and a great competitor and have the cargo capacity, which is also an important element in the revenue generation of airplanes, a small twin-aisle has a lot of advantages once you get north of 200 seats."

Turning his attention to Mitsubishi, Udvar-Hazy says the Japanese manufacturer has "come to talk to us about the MRJ100, which would be a two- or three-row stretch of the [Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan-powered] MRJ90, and Pratt can certainly deliver an engine".

Underscoring the need for Mitsubishi to offer a 100-seat member of its new regional jet family, Udvar-Hazy says: "If the Japanese want to be a real player, I think they'll have to build a 100-seat airplane. I just don't see that they'll have the market penetration with the current models they have now."

Source: Flight International