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Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner is a wide-body commercial venture of the Boeing Commercial Airplane Division. The idea of introducing this airplane to the market was to focus more on better fuel efficiency. The program was launched on April 26, 2004. All Nippon Airways was the first carrier to order the new aircraft with 50 orders. The first prototype flew on July 8, 2007, and made its maiden flight on December 15, 2009. The first variant of the Boeing 787 was -8. It was delivered to ANA on October 26, 2011.
The Idea Behind
Boeing 787 Dreamliner was a substitute for Boeing 767. The company’s aim was to reduce carbon footprints and better fuel efficiency. Dreamliner has been launched into the market with three variants. Boeing 787 -8, -9, and 10. The aircraft achieved good selling targets in the initial period of its launch. The most popular variant with the highest number of orders is the Boeing 787-9.
Comparison of Variants by Specs
The initial variant Boeing 787-8 had a seating capacity of 242 passengers. It could travel over a range of 7,355 nautical miles (13,620 km). Boeing 787-9 was more stretched in length than the earlier -8 variant. It has a seating capacity of 290 passengers, and it can fly 7,635 nautical miles (14,140 km). The last variant of the Boeing 787-10 had a further longer fuselage than the -9 variant. It can accommodate 330 passengers. However, it has a range of 6,430 nautical miles (11,910 km). This particular variant entered into service on April 3, 2018, with Singapore Airlines.
Of all the three variants, Boeing 787-10 could not fare well in the market. However, there is a reason behind it. Despite having more capacity, the Boeing 787-10 has a lesser range than its parallel variants. There is no point in carrying such a large number of passengers on a long-haul flight to a lesser degree. Both the -8 and -9 have higher ranges than the -10 variant. Moreover, the Boeing 787-9 with a seating capacity close to 300 has a higher degree than the -10 variant. Because of this, the -9 variant is the most selling airplane of the 787 families.
As of October 2020, the order numbers for the three variants are standing as follows:-
|Variant Number of Units Ordered|
|Boeing 787-8 661|
|Boeing 787-9 1009|
|Boeing 787-10 202|
More to Boeing 787-10
As discussed above, the numbers show that Boeing 787-10 has failed to settle its hold in the market so far. Airlines are more interested in the -9 variant despite having lesser seating capacity. Ideally, the -10 variant must bring more business from the revenue point of view. But lesser seat occupancy due to passengers’ preferences for a higher range (point to point ) travel on very long haul flights is another issue that is causing carriers to prefer the -9 variant. It is of no significance to bear a higher cost with lesser revenue per seat kilometer.
Although the Boeing 767 fleet is aging and likely to be replaced with newer and better airplanes shortly. However, due to COVID, the transition does not happen very quickly as the passenger volume has not paced up at the same book as before COVID. Although Boeing is optimistic for the 787-10 with its predecessors and competitors in more demand, the selling numbers do not seem to improve. Unless the air travel demand goes back to its peak volume, airlines have no choice but to replace the costly aircraft with fuel-efficient, less expensive, and revenue-generating aircraft.