Just to make it truly interesting, Leeham conclude the seat-mile cost will be the same as an A330neo or B787. But with a trip cost low enough to make a route viable with ~140 pax per departure. Fun times ahead...
This adds real context to the gap that Boeing are trying to fit their NMA into.
That market gap is extremely small.
The NMA has to be better than the NEO on these type of routes otherwise it shouldn't be launched, but it has always been that way. Of course if the NEO can do more routes in your network, it might not be worth the trouble to add another type.
Absolutely agreed on the former. There will be a crossover on mission length where NMA is better than 321.
There is this chart on short/med range flights:
I don't know how true it is, indeed I somewhat question it, but anywayz, assuming its right...
Does an airline buy a plane for 1% of the flights the A321 ULR cannot do*, the 15% of flights that the NMA is better than the A321ULR or the 84% of flights where the A321 is better than the NMA?
*and uses an A330/B787 sub-optimally on these.
,  &  actual numbers plucked from my arse to illustrate the picture
Even then, its much more nuanced than this as the performance gap will vary by mission length and effect will be weighted by mission length [i.e. a 1% fuel burn advantage means less on a 1000 nm flight as opposed to a 1% fuel burn disadvantage on a 4000 nm flight].
I still simply don't see the capability gap where Boeing can put a twin-aisle $20 billion program into. A 757-ish replacement (think MC21-400 kinda thing) that later morphs into the groundwork of the 737 replacement would work in my eyes - but they need to look at the overall two programs joined rather than NMA standalone. Will the executive "next financial quarter is king" board think that far ahead?
But anyway - this is kinda off topic on a thread about the A321 - although I suppose adds information on the competitive environment.