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Boeing launches new Dreamliner with over 100 orders

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Boeing launched a bigger version of its next-generation 787 Dreamliner at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday with more than 100 orders from airlines and leasing groups around the world.

"Boeing today officially launches the 787-10," Boeing head Jim McNerney told reporters, with commitments to buy the new aircraft from United Airlines, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, and leasing firms ALC and GECAS.

The announcement puts Boeing firmly back in the running after a slew of recent technical problems forced the grounding of the entire Dreamliner fleet worldwide for three months in a huge blow to the US firm.

The 787-10 is bigger than its two brothers in the Dreamliner family, and Singapore Airlines and ALC were its two biggest customers, with 30 orders each. United has committed to buying 20 planes while British Airways will get 12.

The news comes as the Paris Air Show -- the world's biggest -- enters its second day with competition between Boeing and its arch-rival Airbus heating up.

Low-cost airline easyJet earlier announced a deal to buy 135 of the European plane maker's single-aisle A320 passenger planes -- one of Airbus's most popular and lucrative models -- including 100 of new generation neo aircraft.

While it has won more than half of the market for medium-haul, single-aisle planes, Airbus is seeking to unseat Boeing in the more lucrative long-haul segment with its own next-generation A350 plane, which went on its first test flight Friday.

The aircraft -- which like the Dreamliner makes extensive use of lighter, carbon-based composite materials that reduce fuel consumption -- will seek to compete with the 787 as well as Boeing's older 777 model.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130618/boeing-launches-new-dreamliner-over-100-orders