Wait continues on Boeing 787-10X, 777X

Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer

The Boeing Co. continues to weigh its options on the 787-10X and 777X, following a change in leadership at its commercial airplanes division.

“We’re spending the time right now with our customers making sure we that have the right products in place and the right technologies,” Ray Conner, Boeing’s new president of commercial airplanes, told reporters in London on the eve of the Farnborough air show. “We don’t have a specific timetable. This is more about getting the airplanes right.”

Conner isn’t holding to his predecessor’s plan to make a decision on the 777X by the end of 2012.

On Tuesday, Cathay Pacific, which has ordered more than 50 777s, opted for Airbus’ A350-1000, the competitor to Boeing’s 777X.

Meanwhile, Germany’s Lufthansa reiterated its interest in Boeing’s 787-10X, a stretched version of the Dreamliner.

“It is correct that we think the aircraft [the 787-10] is very interesting and Boeing knows this,” said Nico Buchholz, executive vice-president of group fleet management.

While Boeing considers the fate of the 787-10X and 777X, its workers have another question: where will the 787-9 be assembled?

Boeing has two 787-8 final assembly lines — one in Everett and one in North Charleston, S.C. Yesterday, 787-9 customer Steven Udvar-Hazy, chief of Air Lease Corp., said he plans to take delivery of his Dreamliners from North Charleston.

Of North Charleston, Boeing’s Conner told Flightglobal: “We’re not restricted by [building only] -8s there. We’re starting with -8s and we’ll see where that goes.”