Boeing 797 Jet Is ‘Full Speed Ahead,’ Air Lease Says, As Dow Giant Plays It Cool

Air Lease (AL) said Boeing (BA) is pushing ahead with its new midrange jet to replace its aging 767 and 757 jets and counter market-share gains by the narrow-body Airbus‘ (EADSY) 320neo. But the Dow Jones aerospace giant is staying quiet for now.




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“Boeing is signaling full speed ahead but there’s still a lot to be decided in these programs,” Air Lease CEO John Plueger said at a conference Wednesday, according to Reuters.

Delta Air Airlines (DAL) CEO Ed Bastian said earlier this week that he was interested in a new plane to replace 200 Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft, Reuters reported.

No Boeing 797 Decision Yet

While airlines and leasing firms are excited about the prospect of a new twin-aisle plane,  Boeing has maintained that it was in no rush to announce a new jet and is still considering the business case of a new midrange jet.

In January, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said he expects a decision this year on whether to tentatively offer the new plane to airlines to test demand. But a final launch decision that would begin actual development won’t come until 2020, he said. That was a delay from prior estimates.

But there are signs that Boeing is serious about the new plane. Boeing has already trademarked the 797 name and has appointed managers and engineers to develop plans for the possible program.

Shares of the Dow Jones component fell 0.5% to 422.38 on the stock market today. Boeing stock has edged lower since hitting a record high on Feb. 29. Delta stock retreated 0.2%. Air Lease stock fell 1.8%. Airbus’ U.S. listed stock sank 2.2%.

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A Boeing 797 jet would counter gains by the narrow-body Airbus’ 320neo. Airbus is reportedly planning a brand-new narrow-body jet and a re-engined A350 to counter Boeing’s new jet.

Air Lease is set to meet with Airbus on Saturday to likely discuss Airbus’ proposed jet to compete with Boeing.

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