Talks of a new larger 787 dreamliner jetliner have been confirmed by an unnamed Boeing Co. source. The company is planning to launch this larger member of the larger 787 dreamliner family in order to fulfill a need for long-haul travel within Asia and on other routes, according to Reuters, who got the information from unnamed sources on Thursday.
The formal larger 787 dreamliner announcement is likely to be formally announced at next week's Paris Airshow, according to a source. The claim was corroborated by a Wall Street Journal report. The official announcement of the long-discussed plans for a 323-seat version of the jetliner is highly anticipated. The anticipation mounted after Singapore Airlines made a "provisional commitment" to purchase the new $300 million dollar larger 787 dreamliner if Being decided to manufacture it.
"We have no comment on the report but we are engaged in discussions with customers on a potential new member of the 787 family," a Boeing spokesman said. The announcement will foster competition within the airline industry as another aircraft, the Airbus A350, is also made of lightweight carbon composites and has recently made its first flight. The two aircrafts, the larger 787 dreamliner and the Airbus A350, will likely compete for many of the same buyers as they were both produced to help airlines save fuel. The larger 787 dreamliner's competition, owned by the European Aerospace and Defense Company, will take flight in the southwestern France city of Toulouse today, Friday, June 14, 2013.
Even prior to the Paris Airshow, the European Aerospace and Defense Company and Boeing have already clashed heads over the Airbus/787-10 competition. Airbus says that stretching the 787 will sacrifice too much range, and cause the new Dreamliner to meet the same fate as the 767-400ER, which was not a commercial success. Boeing executives counter the argument by saying that the base model has a longer stride, leading to exception range, especially when coupled with its lightweight structure.
Potential larger 787 dreamliner buyers include British Airways parent IAG and U.S. lessor Air Lease Corp. IAG has an option to buy more Dreamliners, and there are rumors that they will be purchasing the larger version, known as the 787-10. ALN has been contributing ideas to the design of the new jetliner and has publicly expressed interest in the 787-10 model as well. United Airlines has also backed it.
Other airlines such as Germany's Lufthansa could also be in the early group of potential buyers who are poised to give the larger 787 dreamliner a commercial boost in sales, according to the source, who asked Reuters not to be named. This coveted Dreamliner 787-10 model will have a longer fuselage and carry more passengers than the two existing Dreamliner models on the market. Boeing claims that it will serve airlines flying regional traffic in Asia or flying between some continents.
The larger 787 dreamliner has been discussed for a couple years now, but Boeing experienced production delays on smaller models. Another impediment to the new jetliner's production was the three-month grounding of its Dreamliner fleet earlier this year, due to battery problems amongst many models.