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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Boeing delivers first new stretched 787 Dreamliner to Singapore Airlines 

At 68 metres, the aircraft is 5.5 metres longer than the 787-9 and seats around 330 passengers, 40 more than the 787-9 and 88 more than the 787-8

A Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner sits on the tarmac before a delivery ceremony to Singapore Airlines. The aircraft features high-tech carbon composite parts. Randall Hill/Reuters
A Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner sits on the tarmac before a delivery ceremony to Singapore Airlines. The aircraft features high-tech carbon composite parts. Randall Hill/Reuters

Boeing delivered its first 787-10 Dreamliner to Singapore Airlines on Sunday, rounding out a family of lightweight jets on which the US plane maker is betting its future.

The ceremonial key to the plane was handed to Singapore Airlines chief executive Goh Choon Phong on the tarmac at Boeing’s South Carolina plant, where the carbon composite jet is built, in front of more than a thousand Boeing workers and guests.

Mr Goh called it a “beautiful aircraft” and an “unparalleled product for regional operations”.

Boeing chief executive Keith McAllister hailed the two airlines’ 45-year relationship.

Singapore Airlines was the first South East Asian carrier to buy Boeing’s 747 jumbo jet in 1972, Mr Goh said, and is now the world’s first to operate all the 787 Dreamliner family of models.

Singapore Airlines, which expanded its order for 787-10s to 49 jets last year, plans to introduce the jet on services to Osaka, Japan, followed by Perth, Australia, starting in May.

The 787-10 is built exclusively at the North Charleston plant due to its large size, which prevents the transfer of sections to Boeing’s factory outside Seattle. Unlike the Washington state assembly lines, the plant, which has about 7,000 workers, is not unionised.

The aircraft, which sells for $326 million at list prices, completes a line-up of three models starting with the 787-8 which debuted in 2011. All boast carbon-composite fabrication materials, fuel efficiency and new state-of-the-air filtration systems with higher levels of humidity in the air for long-distance flight.

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The 787-10’s range is 6,430 nautical miles (11,910 kilometres).

At 68 metres, the aircraft is 5.5 metres) longer than the 787-9 and seats around 330 passengers, 40 more than the 787-9 and 88 more than the 787-8.

Europe’s Airbus competes against the 787-10 with its A330neo, an upgraded version of its most-sold wide-body aircraft with fuel-efficient engines and a new cabin.

Both jets are designed for shorter flights compared with other mid-size wide-body planes, tapping into the rapid growth of trade within Asia as well as across other regions.

But after brisk initial sales, orders for both models have slowed, with Airbus selling 214 of its A330neo.

The 787-10 has 171 orders, about 13 per cent of the total of firm orders for the 787.

The mid-sized 787-9 is the most popular variant and competes mainly with Airbus’s new-generation carbon-composite A350.

The 787 and A330neo are locked in a fierce battle for sales and profits in the market for jets with around 300 seats.

Boeing looks poised to win a hotly contested order from American Airlines, beating competition from the A330neo, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

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