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

3 must-try doughnuts when Top Pot opens in Edmonds

After two years of work, the popular Seattle chain is opening its second Snohomish County location.

Mother-in-law homes popular after cities ease restrictions

Lynnwood and Everett are seeing a spurt of growth after changing city codes to allow for this development.

Facebook bans Trump-affiliated data firm Cambridge Analytica

The company allegedly held onto improperly obtained user data after claiming to have deleted it.

Boeing’s newest 737 Max makes first flight over Seattle

Prospects for the new aircraft — the Max 7 — are hazy, as low-cost carriers migrated to larger models.

Boeing’s an early casualty as investors dig in for trade war

The company’s share price is headed toward its biggest weekly slump in more than two years.

A niche Bothell publisher is becoming a mortgage matchmaker

Scotsman Guide has long served lending professionals. Now it’s offering information to borrowers.

Premera pledges $250M of tax cut to health coverage, charity

Cocoon House is among the beneficiaries, receiving $1.6 million from the non-profit health insurer.

Surge in airline hiring boosts interest in aspiring pilots

Boeing predicts that the U.S. will need 117,000 new pilots by 2036.

Trump’s possible China tariffs bring loud protests — in US

A potential trade war could reverberate across the U.S. economy.

Most Read