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The 737-7 Max, which has failed to garner any of the 821 Max orders as of yet.

The A319neo order tally stands at 26, out of the 1554 neos ordered.

THE LATEST versions of narrowbodies from manufacturing powerhouses Airbus and Boeing come in three sizes, but no one seems to be too interested in the smallest.

Both designs are targeting the 100-149 seat market segment, a seemingly huge target with current worldwide fleet numbers exceeding 3000. Airlines, however, seem reluctant to order replacements on a like-for-like basis.

Low cost giant Southwest has 549 737-300/500/700s in this seat class with orders for 189 more. Originally more had been ordered, but then swapped for the larger -800 model seating 175 passengers. Plans are in place to swap more of the -700s on order for their larger sibling. Meanwhilst, Southwest has only ordered the -8 version of the MAX, indicating that older classic and NG models will be replaced with larger modern ones.

The only A319neo orders comes from Qatar Airways (6) and Republic Airways (20, reduced from the original 40 ordered). Other current A319 operators such as Virgin America and Lufthansa have forgone the idea of an A319neo when placing their orders.

Well documented and much debated, Republic also hold an order for 40 similar sized Bombardier CS300, which benefits from “stretch” CASM. Cseries sales remain lacklustre at best.

It has been suggested that the Cost per seat mile (CASM) for these models is less attractive than larger models when compared to the airfcraft they will replace. Simply put; the longer the fuselage when using the same wing, the better… providing range is not sacrificed. This can also be seen outside of the narrowbody arena, with the A350-800 numbers seemingly peaked with the last order coming from Tunisair in July 2008, and now dwindling. The 787-8 has fared better, however the stretched -9 model is catching up, having been the preferred model in recent years.

It would seem that commercial aviation see limited prospects for the 135 seat plane, for the time being at least. Time for Embraer to bring something to the table?

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4 thoughts on “Careful it doesn’t shrink

  1. I think many of the “A320” orders should be seen as slots for the next 10 yrs.

    A319, A320 or A321 to be determined before an agreed upon date.

    That said, the CS300 has always looked better then the A319.737-700.

    Wait until the rich Chinese partners slip the word “CS500”, then we’ll have a ball 🙂

  2. normally, a growth version tends to be more efficient, in terms of pass / gal than the smaller capacity initial versions. so, companies like mcboeing and airbust would fear embraer, etal, from developing their 90 seat aircraft into a really good 100-120 seat model.
    but, while this will work for the shorter ranged markets, the higher or long ranged markets would tend to still favor the bigger jets.
    for europe, this would be a huge market, since they are predominantly short range, low alt, and are heavily taxed on weight.

  3. Pingback: EMB: Plus, G2 and more | the PlaneBlog

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