Boeing is in the initial stages of determining whether or not they will develop a new aircraft type that will replace the 757.
Currently the 757 is discontinued from being manufactured and you could argue that the closest aircraft type that Boeing is making now is the 737-900 as a single aisle aircraft.
However, one main complaint about the 737-900 over the 757 is that since there is no aircraft door between the first class cabin and coach cabin meaning that all passengers board from door 1L on the 737-900 in addition to its range is only about 2,800 miles compared to the 757 which has a range up to 4,500 miles.
According to this Bloomberg article, Boeing is currently testing the waters with the airlines to determine on how a replacement aircraft type for primarily transcontinental flights would do.
“A mid-range aircraft would fill a gap left when Boeing’s 757, the longest single-aisle airliner, went out of production in 2004. U.S. transcontinental service includes the New York-to-Los Angeles trips prized by airlines because of the demand for premium seats, and Airbus Group NV (AIR) is trying to win orders by extending the range of its A321.
Boeing introduced the 757 in 1983, and the jet is typically set up to seat as many as 280 people in a one-class cabin, according to the company’s website. Its maximum range is about 3,900 nautical miles (7,200 kilometers), for the -200 version.
U.S. airlines operate 70 percent of the 819 Boeing 757s still in service, according to Ascend Worldwide data compiled by Bloomberg Industries. Europe’s airlines and freight haulers fly 19 percent of the global 757 fleet, while a handful of the aircraft serve the Middle East.”
One of the drawbacks to Boeing is they don’t think the demand is there for a replacement aircraft since the 757’s are primarily operated by US carriers, however Boeing does need an aircraft to compete against Airbus A321.
What do you think? Do you think a new aircraft type is needed for Boeing?