DUBAI 2015: 787 operators’ routes surprise Boeing

Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ vice-president of marketing, Randy Tinseth, has reported that a considerable number of routes developed by its 787 customers have surprised the OEM.

When developing the aircraft, Tinseth noted, the company identified about 450 destinations that the it thought could be served with the 787. “Yet in recent times, the operators have introduced 75 routes, about half of which were not in that forecast,” he explained. “British Airways’ London Heathrow to Austin service is a good example.”

Tinseth reported that the company has seen a 0.5% improvement in reliability in the 787 fleet over the past year. “The design is settling down now and it’s second only to the 777 in reliability,” he said.

Passenger reaction has been gauged in two surveys, one carried out independently one through a third party. “We had an ambitious set of goals with the 787 so we wanted to know how well had we done,” Tinseth remarked.

From the 3,800 flyers surveyed and asked which three words described their experience, the top response was “comfortable”. The other two top words used were “special” and “spacious”. In the second survey, about the design criteria in the aircraft, Tinseth reported that passengers emphasised how “they love the windows”.

The newest development in the family, the 787-10 – a 6 m stretch over the 787-9 – is on track for entry into service in 2018. “The firm configuration has been done and 90% of the detailed design,” stated Tinseth. “It’s all about expanding the capacity of the aeroplane with a 14% increase, up almost 50 passengers compared with the 787-9 to 330 in a two-class layout. And so far we have 146 firm orders from eight customers.”

Asked whether the 787-10, with its superior economics, would be a contender for low-fare, long-haul carriers which currently use 787s (Norwegian, Jetstar, Scoot), Tiinseth declared, “Every business model fits this.”

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/
Dubai, UAE

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