SINGAPORE 2010: Boeing doubtful on 787-3 prospects

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A final decision has yet to be made on the future of the short-range Boeing 787-3, but Boeing's chief marketeer is bearish on the aircraft's future.

"Let's just be blunt," says Randy Tinseth, Boeing VP of marketing at the Singapore Airshow. "We have no orders for it today, it was an airplane that was designed for the Japanese market."

"I don't think we've made a final decision but I would be hard pressed to tell you that it would be a part of the family going forward."

All Nippon Airways (ANA) became the only customer for the 787-3 when Japan Airlines converted 13 787-3 aircraft to the 787-8 in June of 2009 and later abandoned its order for 28 in favour of the 787-8 in January.

Following the conversion by ANA, Boeing began an assessment of the market viability of the 787-3 which will eventually determine its fate.

ANA is expected to take delivery of its first 787-8 in 2010's fourth quarter following a planned 8.5 month flight test programme to certificate the new long-range twin-engine aircraft that began in December 2009.

Boeing's 787 backlog stands at 851 orders from 56 customers.