Aircraft manufacturers need to develop all-new narrow-body jets, the chief operating officer of Southwest Airlines said Thursday. Both Airbus and Boeing are debating whether to re-engine their current narrow-body offerings or design new planes from the ground up. "I believe that a new narrow-body aircraft will produce one of the single most significant steps toward meeting our economic challenges," Mike Van de Ven said at an aviation conference in Washington, noting that "marginal improvements won't allow us to meet our environmental responsibilities and economic challenges."

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