Boeing's orderbook for the 787-3 has dwindled to zero following a decision by Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) to convert its remaining 28 orders for the short-range variant to the long-range 787-8.

With the switch ANA now holds 55 firm orders for the first 787 model.

"As a result there are no longer any 787-3 orders in the backlog. Going forward, we'll continue to assess the market viability of the 787-3," says Boeing vice president of marketing, Randy Tinseth, on the company's blog.

"ANA's primary business reason for adjusting their 787 model selection is focused around aircraft availability to support their fleet plan - the 787-8 is available sooner for delivery than the 787-3 would be," says Boeing.

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ANA is expected to take delivery of its first 787-8 in late September, following a planned 8.5 month flight test programme to certificate the new long-range twin-engine aircraft that began in December 2009, though Boeing has officially targeted the second half of 2010 for its first delivery.

Boeing's total 787 backlog remains unchanged with the conversion, standing at 851 orders from 56 customers.

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.

The 787-3 was designed as a high-capacity short-range aircraft for the high-cycle Japanese domestic market. The fuselage is the same length as the 787-8 at 56.7m (186ft), but with a smaller 51.8m (170ft) wingspan to accommodate tighter gates, and a configuration of 290-to 330-seats.

Boeing initially planned to have the 787-3 follow the 787-8 into service during 2010, but after more than two years of delays and shifting resources to focus on the stretched 787-9, the -3 variant was not given a specified service entry date.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news