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Boeing Rebuts Airbus's Criticism Over Middle Market

 - February 17, 2016, 7:00 PM
Boeing’s Scott Fancher met with reporters Wednesday.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes senior v-p of airplane development Scott Fancher reported here yesterday that his organization continues to study the market for an airplane designed to fit between the 737 Max 9 and the 787-8. Fancher said it was “a distraction” when Airbus claimed that the sizeable order backlog of the A321neo vindicates assertions that the European manufacturer has already filled the need for a so-called middle-of-the-market (MOM) airplane. He defended Boeing’s deliberate approach to addressing any demand in that segment.

“It’s been reported widely that we’re looking at various alternatives in the middle of the market, and we’ll continue to do so,” Fancher confirmed. “If there’s a market there, we will address it. So we’re in the process of looking at what that market may or may not be, what the alternatives to addressing the market are. And when we get to the point where we believe we can bring an attractive offering to the marketplace–an offering that represents a good economic business case not just for our customers but for our shareholders as well–we’ll make a decision.”

Fancher would not detail what alternatives Boeing (Stand U23) is considering, however. He added that the company “covers the waterfront” when engaging in market studies. “We’ve been getting a range of inputs from customers,” he said. “We’re trying to synthesize what does that market really look like and what set of products could be used to address that space.”