Rolls Royce has expressed interest in providing the engines for a new mid-range aircraft if Boeing decides to move forward with a concept by the end of this decade, said people familiar with the issue.
In recent weeks, Boeing has contacted the British engine manufacturer to gauge its interest in a possible new aircraft, they said.
The mid-size aircraft would be designed to fill a gap in the U.S. manufacturer’s product line and to mitigate the Airbus A321neo’s sales success, Bloomberg said.
Boeing is not yet pooling resources or conducting extensive studies with airlines and lessors, as is typical before a new development program, one of the people said.
In fact, the chances of the project moving forward depend on numerous variables, including the emergence of new engine technology to attract customers, the financial health of aerospace manufacturers, and the recovery of a passenger aircraft market that has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Boeing had contacted suppliers and customers about a possible new single-aisle aircraft with a capacity of 200-250 passengers.
Analysts’ responses to the prospect of Boeing weighing a new development program in the midst of the worst recession in aviation history ranged from support to disbelief.
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