SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) welcomed the world’s first and biggest variant of Boeing’s Dreamliner 787 widebody aircraft --- the 787-10 on Wednesday, as it arrived in Changi airport in Singapore from Boeing’s production facility in North Charleston South Carolina.
The aircraft, which is the third, and for now final, variant of Boeing’s new-age jet, following the smaller 787-8 — the original— and 787-9 models was given a water cannon salute upon arrival and was received by Singapore Airlines chairman Peter Seah, Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong and Singapore’s coordinating minister for infrastructure and minister for transport Khaw Boon Wan.
SIA is the only airlines group in the world to have all the three variants of 787 family. Attributing the development of the new product to years of work involving customer research, partnerships with designers and suppliers, Seah expressed confidence that it would be received well by air travellers.
Speaking at event, Seah said: “The 787-10 is the largest aircraft in Dreamliners family that features 337 seats in two-class configuration — 36 seats in business class and 301 in economy class.”
“The business class cabin features full-flat beds, while the economy class seats have contour backrests with six-way adjustable headrest and foldable wings to provide more neck support. We have personalised in-flight entertainment experience for all customers through myKrisWorld”, said Marvin Tan, senior vice president- products & services of SIA. The aircraft, capable of carrying additional 20 tonnes of cargo, is designed to significantly reduce fuel burn.
SIA is the largest customer for the 787-10 at present, with firm orders for 49 of the type. The Airline also has a firm order with Boeing for 20 777-9s, which are due for delivery from the Financial Year 2021-22. According to the officials, 787-10s will be used on flights up to eight hours and will commence services initially between Singapore and both Osaka and Perth from the coming month. Gradually more more destinations would be added as additional aircraft are received. Currently, SIA flies four times daily between Perth and Singapore with a mixture of Boeing 777-200 and A330-300s.
NMAs likely in 2025
Senior Vice President (Sales-Asia Pacific and India) The Boeing Company, Dinesh A Keskar, in his short interaction with newsmen during the arrival ceremony said that Boeing’s proposed New Mid-market Airplanes (NMA) would be the more super efficient airplanes than the one which are flying today.
Keskar said that NMAs are likely to be launched by 2025.