Having battled to return the problematic 737 MAX to the skies, Boeing has recently been facing even more issues with its popular 787 Dreamliners. For several months it failed to deliver a single aircraft. Deliveries only resumed in March, meaning the manufacturer currently has 486 unfilled 787 orders. We’ve taken a look at which airlines are still waiting.
Up until recently, Boeing had as many as 100 undelivered Dreamliners. But deliveries appear to be picking up again, and the manufacturer seems to want to deliver as many aircraft as possible over the coming months. But who are those aircraft going to, and which variant has the most unfilled orders?
According to Boeing’s report, airlines are mostly waiting for the popular 787-9. Boeing has 320 unfilled orders for this variant compared to 126 for the 787-10 and just 40 for the original 787-8. Of the 787-9, the largest order of 31 aircraft is to be delivered to an unidentified customer. The second-largest order for 30 787-9 will go to Emirates. Aer Cap will receive 20 797-9, 17 with the General Electric (GE) engine plus an additional four.
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More unfilled orders
Other significant orders for the 787-9 include American Airlines with 25 and Qatar Airways with 23. Of the unfilled 787-9 orders, only 45 have the Rolls-Royce (RR) engine. Just 76 of the total 486 are the RR with 300 aircraft using the GE engine. The largest GE engine order is the 25 aircraft heading to American. Korean Air still has 10 787-9 unfilled, as does Bamboo Airways and Jet Airways. Turkish Airlines has an order for 11 unfilled.
Of the unfilled 787-8 orders, the Boeing Capital Corporation will receive 13 aircraft while the Republic of Iraq is waiting for 10. Just one 787-8 will be a private business jet. ANA, the largest operator of the type, is still waiting on 20 aircraft, none of which will be more 787-8s. ANA will receive eight 787-9 and 12 787-10.
The largest unfilled order for 787-10s is the 21 aircraft that will go to Etihad. 19 will go to Air Lease Corporation in the US. United has just one 787-10 unfilled while the Air France-KLM Group is waiting on nine. British Airways is waiting on 10 787-10 and is Korean Air. An unidentified customer will receive 13 787-10 powered by the GE engine, while another unidentified customer will receive five with the RR engines.
Popular but problematic
Despite the aircraft being plagued with issues surrounding the development stage, the Rolls-Royce Trent engines, the tail fin, and tearing in fuselage panels, the Dreamliners remain popular with both airlines and crew. If Boeing can get the issues fixed, the Dreamliners will likely be a popular long-haul aircraft for years to come, thanks to its fuel efficiency.
It is its fuel efficiency over long distances that makes the Dreamliner a popular choice for airlines. The 787-9 has the best range of the three variants, capable of flying 14,140 KM (7635NM), and it’s also the most popular. Over half of all Dreamliner orders so far have been for this middle variant. The original 787-8 is the second most popular, with the stretch 787-10 the least popular so far.
What do you think of Boeing’s Dreamliners? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so do get in touch in the comments section.