ANA switches four Boeing 787-8s for 787-9s

Dreamliner launch customer All Nippon Airways will swap orders to get four Boeing 787-9 jets, the airline announced Tuesday.

ANA said it has switched an order for four 787-8 aircraft, which were to be delivered beginning in 2013, to an order for four of Boeing’s larger version of the Dreamliner, the 787-9.

The swap “will give ANA greater flexibility as it expands its international route network,” the carrier said in a press statement.

Boeing delivered the first Dreamliner to Japan’s ANA last September. Since then, ANA has received a total of seven 787s from Boeing.

With the change, ANA has ordered a total of 36 787-8s, including those delivered, and 19 787-9 aircraft. Boeing expects to deliver the first 787-9 in early 2014.

The jet maker also is expected to offer an even bigger version of the Dreamliner, known as the 787-10. The stretched 787-10 would seat 43 more passengers than the 250 to 290 passenger 787-9. Although Boeing isn’t offering the 787-10 to customers yet, the company is likely to put development of the larger 787 ahead of an updated version of the 777, Jim Albaugh, president of commercial airplanes, said earlier this month.

The 787-10 would require less work than the revamped 777, called the 777X, Albaugh said. Boeing had been expected to seek approval later this year from its board of directors to offer the 777X to customers.

Boeing has more than 850 orders for the fuel-efficient 787.

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