Qantas says it is very interested in Boeings New Mid-sized Airplane (NMA) project to develop a new small widebody airliner.

Chief executive Alan Joyce revealed on Monday (US time) that Qantas is very keen on the prospects of the NMA, which he described as a fantastic transcontinental and maybe [to] Asia aircraft.

The economics of that on paper look good, Joyce said in a media briefing ahead of the airlines first Boeing 787-9 delivery.

Boeings NMA study is focusing on 250-270 seat, 5,000nm range widebody aircraft that would sit in its product portfolio between the 737 MAX 10 and 787-8. It would feature a composite wing and fuselage.

We think there is a bit of gap and Boeing thinks that as well, Joyce said, explaining the aircraft could be particularly useful as a way of providing domestic capacity growth into an increasingly slot-constrained Sydney Airport.

Interestingly the time frame for entry into service places it into the same time frame for the anticipated 'opening' of the new Sydney West (Badgeries Creek) airport.