Three major airlines and two major aircraft leasing companies have made firm commitments for a total of 102 Boeing 787-10s, launching the third and largest member of the Dreamliner family.
At the Paris Air Show Tuesday, Boeing announced that Air Lease Corp. (ALC) is committing to 30 787-10s; GE Capital Aviation Services is committing to 10; British Airways is committing to 12 subject to shareholder approval; Singapore Airlines is committing to 30 and United Airlines is committing to 20. Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner described them collectively as the “launch group” and said all commitments were firm. Entry into service has been set for 2018 with United.
United is currently the only US airline to operate the 787, with six -8s in service, and has previous orders for 49 Dreamliners, a mix of -8s and -9s. Its new commitment converts 10 of those to -10s with the remaining 10 aircraft being incremental.
The 787-10 will fly up to 7,000 nautical miles with seating for 300-330 passengers, depending on configuration. Final assembly and flight test are set to begin in 2017. The 787-9 is in final assembly in Everett, Wash., and will make its first flight later this year.
Briefing journalists just ahead of the launch announcement, Boeing VP and general manager, Airplane Development, Scott Fancher said the 787-10’s efficiency “will be eye watering.” The aircraft is a double-stretch, about 18 feet longer than the -9, which is about 18 feet longer than the -8. Acknowledging that some critics have pointed to a poor success rate for double-stretch aircraft, he said,” This airplane will have 25-30 percent efficiencies over the competitor and customers are really excited about it. That’s a double-stretch I would take.”
He said the aircraft’s ability to cover 90% of the world’s twin-aisle routes combined with its operating features and fuel economy were what the -10 was all about.