Boeing launches 787-10 with five customers

Boeing Co. is starting work on a stretched-out version of its popular 787 Dreamliner jet.

Boeing announced the formal launch of its 787-10 program at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday and says it already has commitments from five customers, including United Airlines.

The Chicago-based company has already started designing the larger version of the Dreamliner, which will seat 300 to 330 passengers. Boeing plans to assemble the first 787-10 in 2017 with delivery the following year.

The 787-10 is in “great demand,” Boeing CEO Jim McNerney told Bloomberg Television.

United, a unit of United Continental Holdings Inc., is converting 10 existing Dreamliner orders into the new 787-10 and buying 10 more planes. The Chicago-based carrier said the deal would make it the so-called launch customer in North America and push its Dreamliner tally to 65 planes.

Air Lease said it would take 30 of the 787-10 variant and three 787-9s. International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways, committed to 12 787-10s, subject to shareholder approval.

Even before Boeing formally launched the 787-10, both GE Aviation Services and Singapore Airlines had signed commitments to order the largest Dreamliner.

Boeing recently began assembly of the first 787-9 in Everett. That version of the aircraft holds between 250 and 290 passengers, about 40 more than the original Dreamliner, the 787-8.

The Paris Air Show is a platform for the race for sales between Boeing and its European rival Airbus, which is hoping that the event spark interest in its A350, its long-haul wide-body rival to the 787 and 777.

Building a Dreamliner capable of seating about 330 people is part of Boeing’s strategy to upgrade two aircraft families, along with the 777, to defend its lead over Airbus in sales of the twin-aisle planes used for long-haul flying. The 890 Dreamliner orders before today were split between 535 for the 787-8 and 355 for the bigger 787-9.

“Experience has told us that based on what we see out there today that the -10 could be at least as big as either of the other two,” McNerney said.

An upgraded version of Boeing’s 777 will be announced this year, McNerney said. The first variant, the 777-9X, will be followed by the smaller 777-8X with longer range, Boeing has said. With the 787 and 777X models, Boeing will have five twin-engine planes with seating capacity ranging from 210 to more than 400.

“The breadth of that product line will give customers around the world more choice than our competitor will be able to offer,” McNerney said.

More in Herald Business Journal

Health-care consumers need to take the lead, so get smart

David Russian, CEO of Western Washington Medical Group, writes our third essay about fixing health care.

More business, more competition for Everett kidney dialysis center

Nonprofit Puget Sound Kidney Centers sees large for-profit competitors enter state market.

Molina Medical holds fall carnival for families in Everett

Molina Medical is hosting a free event for families in the Everett… Continue reading

Leadership Snohomish County celebrates 20 years of service

Leadership Snohomish County is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The organization was launched… Continue reading

Snohomish, Monroe manufacturers honored for innovation, excellence

Two Snohomish County companies have been honored with Manufacturing Excellence awards at… Continue reading

Remodeled home tours planned this weekend

This weekend, Edmonds-based Chermak Construction will participate in the 2017 Remodeled Homes… Continue reading

Barron Heating to celebrate anniversary at Marysville showroom

Barron Heating and Air Conditioning is celebrating its 45th anniversary from 10… Continue reading

Robots on Wall Street: Slow-footed regulators lose ground

Watchdogs have to figure out how to check computers running lightening-fast algorithms.

US budget deficit hits $666B, an $80B spike for the year

The deficit issue has largely fallen in prominence in Washington in recent years.

Most Read