Boeing primes the 797 pump at Singapore Airshow

By David Flynn , February 7 2018
Boeing primes the 797 pump at Singapore Airshow

Boeing is steadily building towards the official launch of its newest jet – a mid-sized plane likely to be christened the Boeing 797 – although airlines won't begin flying the advanced aircraft until the mid-2020s.

Speaking with media at the Singapore Airshow, Boeing senior vice-president Dinesh Keskar talked up interested from Australia – with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce already bullish on the jet's prospects – Asia,  India and the Middle East.

Aimed at the mid-market between the largest single-aisle Boeing 737 MAX and the smallest twin-aisle Boeing 787, the nascent Boeing 797 will be offered in two variants: one with seating for 225 passengers and another with a 275-seat capacity (this appears to be based on a single seating class from tip to tail).

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce sees plenty of appeal for the Boeing 797 on domestic routes, not just east-west runs currently flown by the Airbus A330s but to bolster capacity on popular but constrained routes such as Sydney-Melbourne, which is now the world's second-busiest air corridor.

Based on Boeing's tentative specs, the largest Boeing 797 could carry almost 100 extra passengers per flight between Sydney and Melbourne, compared to Qantas' Boeing 737-800 jets – although Joyce, speaking at the Singapore Airshow Aviation Leadership Summit, noted that the jet's design had to permit sufficiently fast boarding and disembarking of passengers to allow a 35 minute turnaround.

Joyce also cited Asian routes such as Sydney-Singapore as being well-suited to the Boeing 797.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1386

I wonder if they will actually use two doors in airport operations for these jets

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 304

For 35min turn around times, I don't think you would have a choice

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 527

Assuming it has two doors to use and not taking via the rear stairs.


The 767-300 has two main doors as an option. Not sure if many took the option. BA obviously did, 7 of which ended up with Qantas.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 615

The issue for domestic services may be wingspan. If it has a wingspan greater than a 767, only certain gates will be able to handle the 797. This is an issue in SYD for example where, short of redeveloping the domestic terminals, it is hard to add more wide gates.

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 159

Folding wingtips?

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 527

Extra cost of course.

Zac
Zac

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 May 2014

Total posts 128

Always nice to see new planes on the horizon, but my problem with the newer Boeing planes is the seat width in economy. There is something about the cross section of the 787 and 777 (and expect 777X won't be any different) that allows you to just about - if you really try by narrowing the seats, the arm rests, eliminating the gap between seat cushions, narrowing the aisle - just about squeeze an extra seat in per row. For the airlines it then becomes an investment decision not to do that, and hard to justify, so everyone does it and pax comfort takes a dive. For some reason the A350, A330 and A380 (yet) just don't seem to have the same temptation - and so are much more comfortable in Y.


So I guess it's a long way of saying that pax are switching on to the issue of seat width not just pitch, and hopefully the 797 is designed around a sensible seat width in economy.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 591

I reckon the best widebody layout was the 767 with 2-3-2 only having 1 undesirable seat per row vs anywhere from 2-4 crappy seats on other widebodies.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 615

Whilst pax loved the 7 abreast 767, accountants hated it. For all the extra width and weight over a 737/A320, they only got one extra seat per row. It's unlikely 7 abreast will come back unfortunately.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 306

Sadly, I think you're right.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 591

the cabin will probably be a foot wider than the 767 but with 2-4-2 seating at 17inches wide or something. Any wider and it'll end up being like a 787SP.

11 Dec 2015

Total posts 87

Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but if you're an airline running 757s and 767s across the Atlantic, and Boeing comes along and offers you a plane with similar capacity, longer range and lower fuel burn / cost per pax I think the accountants would jump at it, 2-3-2 in Y or not.


Plus the twin-aisle (even with the narrow body) still allows for 1-2-1 aisle-access in J (for the longer flights these aircraft will be running).

I also can't help thinking that a 8-across 797 adds too much of a weight penalty and puts a 275-seat version uncomfortably close to the 787-8.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 591

well that is 275 in a single class config but yes I agreed it's a bit too close. In the meantime Airbus have the A321LR as the most suitable 752 replacement.

29 Oct 2016

Total posts 35

Very much so. It is not just passengers but also the cabin crew impacted by densification. Crew have lost space in which to work and manoeuvre their trolleys and get past passengers in the aisles, they have to serve more people and quite often their complement is reduced by one. With one's workplace being turned into the pits it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to project a positive atmosphere, all of which further degrades the passenger experience.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 591

passengers to get past trolleys in aisles? lol even in 777s with 3-3-3 that's not possible unless the passenger is just skin and bones

29 Oct 2016

Total posts 35

Could do with passengers borrowing leg space of aisle people, but in dense layout that doesn't work, though the comment was more about people milling around the lavatory areas and spreading out in aisles.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 591

Lol i guess the concept of spare legspace in Y seating is foreign to me as my legs tends to use all of what little space there is.

mo
mo

22 Dec 2012

Total posts 37

I agree. Boeing and the major airlines are on a slippery slope with densification. The 787 has a narrower economy pew than a lot of regional and domestic jets.


Airbus seems to be making their cabins slightly wider. Not wide enough for the airlines to fit another seat, but wide enough to make the economy trip comfortable.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 343

What happens after 797? 7107 or back to 707?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Dec 2014

Total posts 45

I really want to know what comes next, but have a feeling that the 737MAX, 777X, 787 and 797 will bring us through until the 30s before anything else new comes online.

28 Nov 2012

Total posts 91

the 800 perhaps

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

25 Apr 2017

Total posts 2

I'd think the 807, 817...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Apr 2011

Total posts 103

708 to be consistent, lol

mo
mo

22 Dec 2012

Total posts 37

I love the idea of a small wide-body but these days the economists hold the purse strings.I think that airlines will favor stretched narrow-bodies such as the A321neoLR and 737-MAX10 over smaller widebodies.

07 Feb 2018

Total posts 1

Mo... I really don't want to fly a DC-8-63 anymore my friend.

28 Nov 2012

Total posts 91

I love this idea for QF domestic and NZ/south pacific flights, I miss the 767 it was so comfy in both classes for the time. Whenever I fly Mel-Syd I always go for the A330 as I detest the 737. If not, they should ditch the 737-8 as they need replacing and go for the A321 as it feels so much roomier.

28 Nov 2012

Total posts 91

737-8 *when they need replacing

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 527

That time is coming. Qantas’s first batch are 16-17 years old. They will need replacing in a bit over 5 years time and of course if Qantas needs any new narrow bodies in the next few years they will need to be something different anyway. So would expect a narrow body decision in next few years.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 957

Qantas Group does have ~100 A320s on order...

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 527

The decision may well be to use some of those orders, but may well be 737MAX or 797. Time will tell.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jan 2014

Total posts 15

The A330neo and A321neo along with the rumoured A322neo are an ideal fit for airlines.

The 737 is so obsolete and dated, I’m surprised airlines are still placing orders for such an airframe.

JKH
JKH

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2017

Total posts 140

How many times will the 737 be resurrected or reinvented?! Horrid bus that it is, especially when they keep stretching the fuselage. 767-200 was a comfortable aircraft - not too big, not too small. Come up with something along those lines with 3 type ‘A’ doors each side, 2 forward of the wing for dual boarding/disembarkation. 2/3/2 cattle class was a great config and with new J-class seat layouts plus a premium economy option, could be great class and yield options.


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