Boeing's CEO Jim McNerney said on Thursday that the company will build a new narrow-body jet to replace the 737 rather than updating the venerable jetliner.
The comment was first reported by
as McNerney spoke at a Cowen and Company conference in New York.
"We're gonna do a new airplane that will go beyond the capability of what the [A320]NEO can do," McNerney said, according to Flightblogger.
The Associated Press reported that McNerney then seemed to backtrack a little, saying the company is leaning toward building a whole new airplane, rather than putting new engines on the 737.
After McNerney spoke, the company Tweeted that it expects to have more clarity by the middle of this year on its plans for the 737.
Boeing had been debating whether to put new engines on its current 737 model -- the best-selling airliner in history -- or whether to design a whole new plane.
"This is not a derivative of the 737. This appears to be an all-new airplane," said KIRO 7 Eyewitness News aviation reporter Rick Price.
"Their 'bias' -- as they put it -- is against re-engining the 737," Price said.
Last month, an analyst at Morgan Stanley said she believes Boeing will likely announce a new narrow-body jet before the Paris Air Show in June.
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