Flight International Online news 1300GMT: Boeing’s three 787 variants will be able to carry more passengers than initially thought, the US manufacturer has announced at the end of a two-day summit with airline customers.

The company also confirmed that it has increased its 787 order book to 309 aircraft, including 233 firm orders. It is also in the early stages of a plan to expand future production and is considering a change to its initial delivery schedule to facilitate more 787 sales.

"These changes are a response to us listening to our customers," said Boeing 787 VP of sales, marketing and in-service support Marty Bentrott.

Boeing’s updated seating data add about 30 extra seats across the 787 series, which is scheduled to begin revenue service in 2008. Seat range for the 787-8 is now 210-250; the 787-9 is increased to 250-290; and the 787-3 is expanded to 290-330 seats.

Bentrott today also said Boeing has been able to reduce the insulation between the 787’s hull and cabin walls to give the interior an over 15in (about 40cm) cross-section premium on Airbus’ A330. "The composite technology allows us to reduced one layer from the side wall for additional comfort for the passenger," says the Boeing VP.

The company is now pondering how to handle the large number of orders it has to fulfill after booking up the first three-and-a-half years of production.

Because of this inherent delivery delay, the manufacture says it is planning to ask some of the carriers holding early delivery slots to open a percentage to new customers.

Bentrott, however, says no airline has currently been asked to change its delivery schedule.

The VP also says Boeing is contemplating a production ramp up, although this will not affect early stages of the 787 delivery schedule.

For more Boeing 787 assembly news please visit our Boeing 787 Dreamliner profile

Source: Flight International