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Boeing reveals: 700 pending 787 orders

Old 06-04-2005, 08:06 PM
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Exclamation Boeing reveals: 700 pending 787 orders

Friday, June 3, 2005

Boeing hopes for 700 new orders for 787


NAGOYA, Japan -- The Boeing Co. has proposals outstanding to airlines and leasing companies for 700 or more additional 787s, the company's jetliner sales chief disclosed.
That's considerably more potential sales than Boeing has previously stated were in the works.

In April, Mike Bair, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, said Boeing was in serious discussion with another 26 airlines for 429 more 787s. Most had placed refundable deposits to save a place in a very full production line, Bair said.

This week, in an interview with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in Japan, Boeing sales chief Scott Carson described the Bair figure as a "subset" of the 700-plus proposal number.

The bigger figure includes airlines that have not made deposits, Carson said, and he acknowledged that he does not expect all to became firm orders or even commitments.

"Not every one of those will be picked up," he said of the outstanding proposals representing more than 700 planes.

At least one announced 787 customer could soon order more planes, even though the first 787s will not be delivered until 2008.

"We are looking to convert some of our options into firm orders for the 787," Ralph Norris, chief executive of Air New Zealand, said in an interview.

Air New Zealand was one of the early launch customers for the 787, but ordered only two planes as part of a bigger 777 order. Norris said the airline has options to take 18 more 787s. They would be the bigger 787-9, he said.

Air New Zealand is a member of the Star Alliance, and Norris and the chief executives of the other 15 airlines that make up the alliance formed in 1997 met yesterday at the newly opened Central Japan International Airport near Nagoya.

The chief executives voted in a new member, Swiss International Air Lines.

In addition to Air New Zealand, two other Star members, All Nippon and Air Canada, have placed 787 orders.

Kanok Abhiradee, president of Star member Thai airlines, said in an interview that he is interested in the 787 and he noted that it could become the plane of choice for many Star members.

The alliance already is working to develop common specifications for the 787, much as it did a few years ago when considering a group purchase of regional jets.

Singapore Airlines, a Star Alliance member, is expected eventually to order the 787. And Star member Lufthansa is considering the Boeing plane as well as the Airbus A350.

The only Star airline that has so far said it plans to order the competing A350 is US Airways.
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