Boeing 767: A Resilient Design
The Boeing 767 first flew in 1981. It is design that is approaching 40 years old. Yet the design has been remarkably resilient over the years. The original intent of Boeing’s 787 was to replace the larger 767 fleet. To an extent, this is happening. American Airlines is set to retire their 767 fleet by the end of 2020. They are replacing the jet with the 787-8, providing a better passenger experience with lower operating costs, and slightly increased capacity. Other airlines like Delta and United have upgraded their 767 fleet to include new business class experiences and fresh interiors.
While some airlines are slowly retiring their fleet, there are still a number of operators flying the jet worldwide. In fact, the last passenger 767 was delivered in 2016. Additionally, the aircraft is still in production with large backlogs for cargo operators UPS and FedEx. Boeing also has a large contract for 179 of the ‘frankentanker’, the KC-46 for the Air Force. (It’s called a ‘frankentanker’ because it has 767-200 fuselage combined with a 787-like cockpit, and wings from the 767-300 version). In short, Boeing currently has a backlog of over 100 orders that stretches well into the next decade at current production rates.
Three reasons why A Re-engined Boeing 767 Makes Sense
With the technologically advanced 787 in Boeing’s portfolio, many wonder why a re-engined 767 would make much sense. The answer lies in the fact that an upgraded 767 represents a low-cost way for Boeing to provide enhanced economics without significant risk. We dig into three reasons why this option is pretty attractive for Boeing on the next page.