Scott Hamilton has it here: chances that we will seen and hear an announcement from Boeing for a new airplane, call it 737RS, call it 797, are getting slim. Buckingham Research now says that they do not expect an announcement from Boeing for a new airplane at the Paris Air Show. An approval to offer would not come before the end of 2012/ early 2013.
As I argued earlier, there is no real technical case for a new aircraft in the 2020 timeframe. And if there is no technical case, there is no business case. No business man will spend $10-15 billion without getting a decent return, if he can get the same return by spending $1-1.5 billion, as Airbus does it.
I don't want to say that Boeing now will do the 737RE - but in my eyes it would do much more sense. And this is one if the rare occasions I agree with Richard Aboulafia, who just today at the Aero Club in Wichita said that Boeing should quickly go forward with the reengining.
If they do not move quickly, there is a real danger that long-time Boeing customers are moving to Airbus.
A problem with reengining for Boeing could be the emerging signs that the CFM LEAP-X could be a little bit behind schedule. At least there is no customer for the LEAP-X on the A320NEO yet. As EIS for the NEO is 4.5 years away, some airlines (as well as ILFC) seem to be confident enough to order the GTF, but not the LEAP-X. They could also wait another year or even two and decide then about the engine - means ordering one engine now that they are sure that the other is not ready in time? Leahy last week said that the LEAP-X would be available by about 9 months, but no more than 12 months after the GTF. As EIS of the NEO was moved forward by 6 months at the same time, that means that the LEAP-X would have been 3-6 months later than the GTF per original schedule. Three to six months should not really be the deciding factor when ordering an aircraft that is used for twenty years and longer. So there could be something more behind all that...