Boeing announced the formal launch of its 787-10 program at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday, and says it already has commitments for 102 jets from five customers: Air Lease Corp., Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, International Airlines Group and GE Capital Aviation Services. The new 787-10 lists at $290 million, making the deal worth nearly $30 billion at full price, although customers often negotiate deep discounts.
United remains the only U.S.-based airline to fly the 787, which is steadily winning customers after being beset with problems concerning its lithium-ion battery on two Japanese carriers. The plane, like its newest rival the Airbus A350, uses lightweight materials and new engine technology to cut down on fuel consumption at a time of rapidly increasing jet fuel prices. Boeing has said passengers will notice bigger windows and an adjustment in cabin pressure, which means they will not suffer from jet lag as badly as on other aircraft.
The original 787 can seat between 210 and 250 passengers. Boeing has started building a longer version, the 787-9, that would hold between 250 and 290 passengers, while the 787-10 would seat between 300 and 330.
The air show is a platform for the race for sales between Boeing and its European rival Airbus, which is hoping that the event sparks interest in its A350, its long-haul wide-body rival to the 787. The first A350s are expected to be delivered in mid-2014, after the aircraft receives regulatory approval.