Report: Boeing leaning toward new airplane

Boeing is leaning toward replacing its 737 single-aisle jetliner with a new airplane rather than updating it, according to a new report.

"Despite BA's (Boeing's) discussion, we think current thinking could be leaning toward a new airplane," Richard Safran, analyst with Buckingham Research, said in a report, according to Leeham Cos.

Safran attended Boeing's annual investor update.

"IF BA opts for a new design, we would view BA stock more favorably," Safran said, "because that would defer incentive substantial investment on a narrowbody product until after 2013."

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney hinted on a first-quarter earnings conference call that a decision whether to put new engines on the 737 or build a new airplane would be made by the end of this year.

The decision would affect Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems, which builds the 737 fuselage and derives a significant portion of its revenue from the airliner. Boeing now produces 31 737s a month.