Boeing Co has opened an office for a potential new mid-market jet and named a leader for the project, taking it a step closer to deciding whether to launch the new airplane, according to a staff memo seen by Reuters. The “New Mid-market Airplane” office will be run by Mark Jenks who currently heads the 787 Dreamliner program. “I am pleased to announce the creation of a new program office to move us one step closer to a decision on a New Mid-market Airplane (NMA) and also serve as a vehicle to evolve how we design and build airplanes,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes Chief Executive Kevin McAllister said in the memo.
A Boeing spokesman confirmed the contents of the memo. The memo gave no indication on whether or when Boeing might commit to building the new jet, which industry sources expect to seat 220-260 passengers. The plane would fit between the 737 series of single aisle jets, and the wide body 787. Brad Zaback will now head the 787 program.