Boeing could seek internal launch approval for the stretched and re-engined 787-10X by the end of this year or early 2013, chief executive Jim McNerney says today.
"It looks like a pretty good airplane that will have a lot of market demand," McNerney says.
With strategic customers such as Lufthansa already interested, Boeing is aiming the 787-10X to serve high-density trunk routes between Europe and the Middle East and North America, as well as developing routes within Asia.
The 787-10X concept has moved forward as a proposal to re-engine and possibly re-wing the 777 has receded in priority, with new Boeing Commercial Airplanes president Ray Conner declining to uphold his predecessor's goal to seek launch approval for the 777X by the end of the year.
Compared to the 777X, Boeing views the 787-10X as a more straightforward product with fewer technical complications.
But Boeing is still fine-tuning the timing and market strategy for the 787-10X.
"We are getting greater fidelity," says McNerney, adding that it is "hard for me to predict exactly when we would move forward".
However, McNerney quickly followed saying the 787-10X business case could be submitted to the board later this year or early next year.
"We're getting near the end of that evaluation to make the judgement," he says.