Let us talk about the Boeing 757. As we all know it’s a great airplane. It is a narrow body aircraft capable of flying transatlantic routes. The 757 is extremely overpowered which means that it has great short field capabilities. The Boeing 757 is greatly loved by many airlines which is why even though it drinks fuel and is aging fast the airlines still use it on a very wide variety of routes.
For years now we have heard rumors of a 757 replacement but here are the facts of the matter:
1. There is a reason Boeing ended production of the 757. That reason being there were no new orders and no money to be made at the time.
2. The 757 lives in a niche market meaning that there are very few slots for an aircraft of this type.
3. Airlines are flexible… They are willing to increase frequency with smaller aircraft or decrease frequency with larger aircraft is necessary. They don’t necessarily need a direct replacement aircraft although it might be nice.
As shown above there are defiantly reasons for aircraft manufactures to not make a 757 replacement but a case can be for the opposite too. Reasons a 757 replacement should be considered:
1. There is still a market for that kind of aircraft. Is it a big market? No however it is still an untapped market.
2.Current 757 replacement proposals just don’t fit the bill. As stated above airlines tend to be flexible when ordering aircraft but they would probably prefer a direct replacement.
3. Boeing’s idea that the 737 can directly replace the 757 is well… stupid. The airplanes just don’t have the same capabilities.
So now we have seen reasons to make and not to make a 757 replacement. The thing is one company has decided that there are enough reasons to make a replacement. Airbus has decided to make what they have designated the Airbus 321 NEO LR. It should have roughly the same passenger capacity as the 757 but more importantly it should also have the same range. The idea is that the A321 NEO LR will be able to fulfill transatlantic missions that the 757 is currently used on. Sounds good doesn’t it? Two questions pop up though:
1. Will it have the amazing short field capabilities that the 757 has?
2. Will the A321 NEO LR live up to expectations?
In my opinion the A321 NEO LR will not be as amazing as the 757. I think that if we are ever going to get a genuine direct 757 replacement it will have to be a clean sheet design not a modified version of an existing aircraft. I could absolutely be wrong though. Let me know in the comments section below what you think of the A321 NEO LR.