In my opinion, Boeing has already gotten an internal go-ahead
for the 7E7
based on the following customers:
1. Lufthansa (LH). LH
wants a true A300B/A310 replacement and the A330-200 is too heavy a plane for such an application.
2. Japan Airlines (JL). JL
wants the plane for some Japanese domestic routes and regional routes in Asia.
3. All-Nippon Airways (NH). NH
wants the plane for the same reason as JL
4. TUI Group (Brittania, Hapag-Lloyd, Corsair). TUI wants a plane that has enough range to fly from central Europe to US West Coast, South America and eastern Asia easily for inclusive tour packages.
5. Air China (CA), China Southern Airlines (CZ) and China Eastern Airlines (MU). These Chinese airlines want a modern plane to fly busy intra-China routes (e.g., AA
), China">PEK to CAN
) and to provide service on Asian regional routes.
6. Malaysian Airlines (MH). The A330's MH
is now flying are too heavy for regional routes from KUL
and they could use a more efficient plane.
7. Continental Airlines (CO). Use for international flight expansion from EWR
8. Delta Airlines (DL). DL
will use the 7E7
to replace the oldest 767-200's and 767-300ER's. DL
will also use the new plane for expanded transatlantic service and expanded service to South America.
Further down the road, I see two other airlines wanting the 7E7
1. American Airlines (AA). AA
will replace its 767-200 and some 767-300's with this plane.
2. United Airlines (UA). UA
will buy the plane for the same reason AA
One thing that may have already sealed the deal to produce the 7E7
is the potential for a major order from the United States Air Force (USAF
). A freighter variant of this plane could become the plane to finally allow the USAF
to phase out its rapidly-aging KC
-135 fleet, plus possible sales as VIP transport, ELINT/SIGNIT platform (replacing the rapidly-aging RC
-135 fleet) and even possibly as a platform for the combined AWACS/JSTARS radar platform. Just the USAF
order could mean about 300-400 planes purchased after 2008.