June 14 - Boeing likely to announce a larger version of its Dreamliner jet next week, sources told Reuters. Fred Katayama reports.
Boeing's betting bigger could be better. It is getting ready to launch the third version of its 787 Dreamliner jet. Sources told Reuters Boeing will likely announce its 323-seat version at next week's Paris air show. Compared to the two earlier versions shown here, the stretched 787-10 has a longer fuselage, and it will carry 50 to 80 more passengers. It'll sport a 300 million dollar price tag. A Boeing spokesman said, " We have no comment on the report, but we are engaged in discussions with customers on a potential new member of the 787 family." Singapore Airlines has provisionally committed to buying the new plane. Among the airlines and lessors that are said to be interested or expected to buy it: United Airlines, Air Lease, British Airways, and Lufthansa. The new plane will compete for the same buyers as the A350, which made its maiden flight in France on Friday. The new Airbus plane is also made of lightweight carbon composites that cut down on fuel. Airbus COO John Leary: SOUNDBITE: JOHN LEARY, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, AIRBUS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We're going to set new standards not just for comfort, not just for performance, but for environmental friendliness. People living around airports won't even know we're taking off." Airbus says Boeing's stretched plane will give up too much range. But Boeing says the lightweight structure of its base model gives it exceptional range and is suitable for flying regionally across Asia and serve cities between continents. As Boeing bounces back from the grounding of its 787s due to a battery issue, Airbus faces what reportedly could be big losses on falling values for its older A340 aircraft. So get set for a dogfight over next-gen widebodies at the air show.