Lufthansa and Air Lease Corp (ALC) are competing to be the launch customer for Boeing's 787-10X.
Lufthansa senior VP of corporate fleet, Nico Buchholz, considers the 787-10X a perfect fit for the airline’s route network. The airline has carried out extensive assessment of both the 323-seat 787-10X and 280-seat 787-9, as potential aircrafts to fill the 200-to-300-seat fleet segment that is currently occupied by the Airbus A330-300, A340-300 and A340-600.
Mike Bair, Boeing senior VP of marketing, stated that the 787-10X offers a significant improvement in performance – the aircraft’s operating costs are 50% lower than the A340-600.
In the meantime, Steven Udvar-Hazy, chief executive of ALC, has expressed the aircraft leasing company’s interest in being Boeing's 787-10X launch customer. Udvar-Hazy said ALC also wants to place an order for some -9s, in addition to being the launch customer for the 787-10X.
ALC has also requested Boeing for an additional 1.4-1.8t (3,000-4,000lb) maximum takeoff weight above the baseline 251t, which would add 400nm (740km) to the aircraft's range.
According to industry experts, a stretch of the 787-9 will add 5.5m (18ft) of fuselage. This would create an aircraft that is able to fly between 6,705nm to 6,745nm, subject to the engine. Udvar-Hazy said,
It still serves probably 85% of the long-range routes and will have really good economics on seat mile costs and more cargo with the stretch both in front of and in the back of the wing.
Udvar-Hazy is of the view that the -10X could be launched at the same time with a 353-to-407-seat 777X at the end of the year.