Aerospace giant Boeing Co. launched the stretched version of its 787 Dreamliner passenger jet Tuesday at the Paris Air Show, saying it received customer commitments for 102 airplanes.
The new plane, called the 787-10, will fly up to 8,055 miles with seating for 300 to 330 passengers. Boeing said that it can cover more than 90% of the world's twin-aisle routes between major cities.
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The new orders from five international customers represents an order sheet worth more than $29 billion at list prices. That’s welcome news for Boeing, which for most of the year has been facing a public relations nightmare with the 787.
A smaller version of the plane, the 787-8, was in service with six airlines when it was grounded around the world for more than three months because of overheating incidents with the battery systems.
After Boeing redesigned the battery system, international aviation authorities cleared the 787 fleet for flight.
"Our ongoing investment in the 787 family is well-founded," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Ray Conner. "With the 787-10, we've designed an exceptional airplane supported by an efficient and integrated production system that can meet increasing demands and create new opportunities for us.”
The announcement was Boeing’s first big splash at the air show. The event, which ends Sunday, is one of the largest aerospace showcases and an event at which plane makers, airlines and military officials from around the world gather to sign billion-dollar deals.
Boeing’s arch-rival, European plane maker Airbus, conducted the first flight of its new A350 XWB passenger jet last week. The A350 XWB is a direct competitor to the 787 Dreamliner in the long-haul market.
Airbus hopes the 350-seat version of the jet, A350-900, will be ready for service in 2017.
Boeing engineers have already started design on the 787-10. Final assembly and flight test of the 787-10 are set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2018. The company did not say where it will be built.
Boeing said its customer commitments for the 787-10 include orders from British Airways, United Airlines and Air Lease Corp., the Century City aircraft-leasing company.
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