DALLAS – Boeing CEO Stan Deal has shared some news about a new High Gross Weight (HGW) version of the 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft.

Speaking to the Seattle Times, the new CEO said in his first interview that the development of the type would give the aircraft an extended range, as well as a higher capacity for freight and passengers. This would allow the aircraft to become more competitive against the Airbus A350-900.

According to Leeham News (LNA), Boeing gave the outlet exclusive information that the 787-9 would also get an HGW version. However, there is little information about this new version of the Dreamliner.

The type was first announced in 2019 to gain an order from Air New Zealand (NZ). NZ needed this increased range and payload to serve the US market better. Its Boeing 777 fleet is aging, and the aircraft’s impressive range and capacity are highly needed. We are not sure yet if this is the aircraft Deal spoke about, but Boeing said it wouldn’t give any technical details.

What we do know is that the increased range and payload allow more passengers to fly further compared to the normal version. The type will keep its commonality with the other versions of the Dreamliner. One advantage of the new version of the 787 is that it would be a perfect replacements for aging 777-200ERs, with a similar range and passenger capacity but with a 25% better efficiency in fuel.

The 787 Dreamliner took its first flight in 2009. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Competition With the A350, A330neo

Today, the Boeing 787 competes with Airbus’ latest generation long-haul aircraft, namely the A350-900 and the A330-900. While the A330neo carries a few more passengers than the Boeing 787-9, its range is shorter, so with the HGW, the difference would be significant.

However, when comparing the type to the A350-900, the HGW version of the Boeing 787-9 makes more sense. Even if the A350 can carry more passengers, it is able to fly one hour longer than the 787-9. The A350 also has a XLR version, which can operate 20-hour-long flights with a range of 9,700 nautical miles.

With its increased capabilities, the Boeing 787-9 HGW could compete with the A350-900, with a lower cost per seat and lower carbon emissions. The same goes for the 787-10, as it has a low range when compared to the other Dreamliners today.

As for the current backlog, Dreamliner deliveries are at standstill, with delays impacting airlines’ schedules in the US. In his interview for the Seattle Times, Deal did not say when the deliveries would resume. “I’m not going to rush my regulator [the FAA].”

Featured image: The Boeing 787 is Boeing’s latest clean-sheet aircraft. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways