Latest article from Leeham says the NMA 7 will be launched first based on rumours from PAS.
This may help Boeing put some clearer product differentiation between the A321XLR and its 797. The 797-7 could fly 500 nautical miles further and carry some 50 more passengers than the A321XLR. These are not insignificant numbers.
Seems they want to hit that 767-300-not-ER spot pretty hard, then fill in with the 767-200-not-ER below it.
So what am I missing?
In the article linked they quote:-
797-6 will be able to seat 228-passengers and fly a range of 4,500nm (8,300km)
797-7 which would seat 267-passengers and fly a range of 4,200nm range (7,700km)
And in the article linked in the first article it quotes:-
The Airbus A321XLR is practically a direct competitor for the Boeing 797-6
which makes sense, given the numbers.
What I am reading tells me that the 797-6 and A321 XLR are almost exactly the same in terms of capability, with the XLR quoted as flying 180-220 people 4 700Nm.
I don't see anywhere any figures that tell me one of these models holds 50 more people and flies 500 nm further.
What the articles do tell me is that, far from taking just "a sliver of of the NMA market", the A321 XLR has already caused Boeing to veer away from its long established custom of launching the smaller variant first.
It does make me wonder if the smaller 797 will ever happen, even if the larger one gets the go-ahead.
Has the A321 XLR already killed the 797-6? I wonder.
Will they steal A321 XLR sales?
We may never know as the reality dawns that an A321XLR is just another A321 weight variant with a slightly different fuel tank.
Any airline that runs A321NEO's (which is a LOT of airlines) will have no downside to running a few XLR's mixed in
Will these planes kill the A321 XLR? Clearly not, for the reason above - to do so it would have to kill the A321NEO completely, which it clearly won't.
It will be interesting to see if the 797 is launched.
I hope it is launched, as then we'll get some data as to what is actually happening in that market.
My scepticism may prove to be ill founded - and I would be very cool with that.
Maybe it will get to boast the achievement of finally "killing" the A330-800.
But I doubt that too, as the few airlines buying A330-800's seem to be doing so for range.
A major Coup for Boeing if it does, though