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Boeing Exec Says Response to 787 Dreamliner Exceeds Expectations

In this hand hout computer-generated image provided by Boeing shows the company's new series Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Wednesday, April; 27, 2005.  A senior Boeing Co. official on Wednesday brushed off the threat of European rival Airbus SAS's "superjumbo," saying orders for Boeing's smaller, more fuel-efficient Dreamliner were robust. (AP Photo/Boeing) ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY **
AP
In this hand hout computer-generated image provided by Boeing shows the company's new series Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Wednesday, April; 27, 2005. A senior Boeing Co. official on Wednesday brushed off the threat of European rival Airbus SAS's "superjumbo," saying orders for Boeing's smaller, more fuel-efficient Dreamliner were robust. (AP Photo/Boeing) ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY **

Randy Baseler, Marketing Vice President for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that worldwide response to the company’s new 787 Dreamliner is “far beyond our expectations.”

To date, he said 44 airlines have signed contracts for a total of 544 new 787s.

“We’re working on executing our plan to make sure that we can fulfill what we say we’re going to do,” Baseler said Tuesday. “It’s working very well and we’re on plan for the rollout to be July 8 and the first flight to be toward the end of the summer and deliveries in 2008.”

The 787-3 Dreamliner is a twin-aisle plane with a seating capacity of 290 to 330. It’s designed to use 20% less fuel than other planes of its size and has a range of 2,500 to 3,050 nautical miles.

The 787-9 version has a seating capacity of 250 to 290 passengers and a range of 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles.

He said many legacy European and U.S. carriers have yet to place orders for the new plane due to financial concerns.

“The European networks are now starting to come in,” Baseler said. “The U.S. in particular has a very large fleet of planes that are aging and need to be replaced. We think that’s going to give the order and delivery cycles much more longevity than some of the past cycles.”

Boeing competes with Airbus, a division of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company.

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