As the chart illustrates, the survey has pretty much run its course. As of this writing, we have 233 responses. Recognizing this is not a scientific survey we also need to accept the responses come from a primarily qualified audience given this site’s traffic sources. So we would tend to consider these results as worthy for consideration. Let’s look at each question.
Over 60% of respondents believe the 737RE will be an economic success for Boeing. This is good news for the firm and with such a strong response one wonders why Boeing did not make the decision to do the re-engine sooner? Respondents clearly feel confident in the airplane and Boeing’s ability to make it work. Given the iterations of the 737 since 1967 this is understandable.
2017 is when most respondents see the 737RE entering service. American, as first customer, expects its first 737RE’s in 2018. Given OEM program delays this is a sensitive issue. But the RE, depending on just how many changes Boeing decides to go for, should be considerably less complex than the NSA. Rumors of a 787 style flightdeck and obviously accommodating the bigger engines are the main changes. The 737 already has wing 4% larger than the A320 which helps provide 9% more fuel. Boeing’s 737 wing is said to be up to 5% more efficient than that on the A320. So we would expect Boeing to ensure wing advantages are maintained even with newer, bigger/heavier engines.
Having discussed the 737’s advantages in its wing, it is interesting to see that nearly 60% of respondents (who we assume know of the 737’s wing) still do not see the 737RE being more economically efficient than the A320neo. This could be due to Airbus removing one toilet in back of the cabin, and adding a row of seats, plus the fact that the neo will not need to compromise its fan diameter for either of the two engines offered. We may also be seeing here the expectation that Airbus will improve the A320 wing somewhat to close the gap with the 737. Moreover, Airbus could make use of newer materials to reduce the neo’s weight – the A320 is supposedly heavier than the 737.
This question obviously is an attempt to understand market reaction to the evolving situation now that we have an neo vs. RE world. We see nearly half the respondents believing the RE will not be helpful to Boeing’s market share. 47% of respondents think Boeing’s market share will decrease.
The result in this chart needs to be contrasted with the previous one. Here 53% of respondents do not see existing 737 customers switching away from Boeing. Yet in the previous chart suggests Boeing will not lose market share. Doing a cross-tabulation of these two questions provides some additional insight.
Among respondents who believe that Boeing customers will switch, two thirds also believe neo will be more economically efficient. Among respondents who think Boeing customers will not switch, fewer believe (still over 50% though) the neo will be more economically efficient. Interestingly, among the non-switch respondents, the number who believe the RE will be economically competitive with neo is 57% greater than those who do nor think the RE will be as economically competitive.
We hope you enjoyed this poll.