Boeing and potential customers in talks about 777X

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Boeing is looking at expansive and more modest changes to the 777 widebody to keep the product viable, but a strategy decision is not likely soon, says Air Lease Corp. Chairman and CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy.

Boeing is already in talks with potential customers about the so-called 777X, says Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Jim Albaugh.

Some of the proposals being looked at include a brand-new engine to replace the GE90, which General Electric would first have to develop, Udvar-Hazy says.

Also on the agenda are potentially a new wing, or, at least, aerodynamic improvements.

Udvar-Hazy says the options range from major changes to a Band-Aid approach to keep the aircraft competitive versus the Airbus A350-1000.

Some options are “extremely costly, in terms of development and would involve significant redesign of the airplane,” he says.

The near-term focus for Boeing will be on getting the 787 into customer hands, he adds, so, “I don’t think Boeing is going to come to any quick decision.”