The Boeing Co. apparently has resumed consideration of a new mid-sized aircraft series, a subject that had been tabled by CEO David Calhoun in January of this year. The Wall Street Journal reported that Boeing has engaged in discussions with some airlines and airplane leasing companies, as well as suppliers, proposing a single-aisle jet for 200-250 passengers.
The new, twin-engine aircraft would be larger than the largest of the 737 MAX series (737 MAX 10), but not as large as the 787 Dreamliner. It would compete for orders with the Airbus A321 single-aisle aircraft.
Under previous CEO Dennis Muilenburg Boeing was known to be developing a "New Midsized Aircraft", at times referred to as the Boeing 797, which was to have two models: a 225-passenger jet with a range of 5,000 nautical miles (9.300 km); and a 275-passenger jet with a range of 4,500 nm (8,300 km.)
The development of the NMA/797 also was expected to be a part of Boeing's cancelled joint-venture with Embraer.
Muilenburg departed amid the problems surrounding the 737 MAX aircraft, its grounding and redesign, bringing Calhoun to the office. Calhoun in January said that Boeing would return the project but "with a clean sheet of paper," with a new evaluation of the future commercial-aircraft market and the types of jets that will be need to meet future demand.
Future aircraft demand has been significantly altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected passenger volumes and thus carriers' capacity requirements — and this in turn has resulted in more than a thousand cancellations of previously booked orders.