Boeing said on Wednesday it would make a final launch decision in 2020 on its proposed new mid-sized jetliner, depending on the results of a round of commercial pre-marketing which it may begin this year.
Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg, who previously spoke of a launch decision in 2019, said no decision has yet been made on whether to provisionally offer the aircraft to airlines in order to test demand.
But if it does so, that would happen this year, followed by a decision on whether to go ahead with the industrial launch, which typically marks the official start of the development work for a new aircraft in 2020.
The clock is ticking. Boeing’s plane must enter the market in 2025, when airlines will be retiring Boeing 757s and 767s, with Airbus poised to scoop up new plane orders.