Both Airbus and Boeing are accelerating their midsize aircraft program to enter the market, when the ageing aircraft are “ready for replacement”
Airbus has delivered a total of 620 passenger A330-200 jets and 100 of them will be reaching 20 years in service by 2020 and the rest will follow soon. Boeing has delivered a total of 583 767-300ERs. and they all need to be replaced by 2025.
Instead of introducing new design concept, Airbus has been tweaking A330 into A330neo versions. Both the A330-800neo and A330-900neo retains the fuselage lengths of the A330-200 and A330-300, respectively. Cabin optimisation allows 10 additional seats on the A330-900neo (310 seats) and six additional seats for the A330-800neo (252 seats). The A330neo powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, will go for certification in the second quarter of this year.
In the mean time, Boeing has been focusing on NMA (New Midsize Airplane airplanes), will be known as Boing 797. According to Boeing, the 220-270 seats NMA aircraft will not see much changes from its 787, in terms of technology.The Boeing’s NMA is still in the drawing room, whereas A330neo are almost ready for certifications.
Airbus also reportedly considering building a freighter version of its A330neo jet, after having talks with Amazon and United Parcel Service (UPS). The new freighter would directly compete with Boeing’s popular 767-300 in the global air cargo market.