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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 December 2005, 07:18 GMT
Boeing raises 787 delivery target
Computer generated image of Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner
The first Boeing 787 is expected to be delivered in 2008
Boeing has raised its forecast for the number of 787 Dreamliner aircraft it will be able to deliver to customers in the plane's first full year of service.

The US aerospace giant expects to complete orders for 112 of the aircraft during 2008-09, up from 96.

Boeing added that it expected to end this year with 254 orders for the jet.

The firm has staked much of its future on the success of the 787, and has been competing fiercely for orders with European rival Airbus' A350 aircraft.

Long range

Earlier this month, Boeing clinched a deal with Australian carrier Qantas for at least 65 Dreamliner 787 jets in a deal worth $10bn (5.7bn).

Boeing expects to begin production of the 787 in 2007 and deliver the first of the aircraft the following year.

The company says its long-range 787 aircraft, which is designed to seat up to 250 passengers, will be 20% more fuel-efficient than similar mid-sized planes.

It said it expected interest in the 787 to remain stronger among airlines in Europe and Asia, but added it saw potential for orders from some big US carriers.

Boeing said it was considering developing a longer version of the 787, able to carry up to 300 passengers, although the firm stressed that work on the aircraft would not begin until at least 2012.

While it aims to have 254 firm orders for the 787 by the end of this year, it has an additional 100 provisional orders, approximately.

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