Earlier this month, China Southern Airways placed an order for 12 Boeing 787 Dreamliners—a deal valued at $3.2 billion. The order established October 2016 as the Dreamliner’s most successful month in history.
Best month ever
The China Southern contract is one of two major 787 deals that took place this month, the other coming from Qatar Airways less than a week prior. The Gulf airline ordered 30 Dreamliners, which, together with China Southern’s dozen, doubles Boeing’s sales total for 2016.
As Asia’s largest airline, China Southern is proving to be a crucial client for Boeing. It was the first Boeing 787 customer and already operates 16 Dreamliners as part of a lease agreement. This latest deal reflects China Southern’s satisfaction with the 787, potentially helping to boost the aircraft’s reputation among other carriers.
A much needed boost
The Chinese and Qatari deals couldn’t have come at a better time for Boeing, which needs to significantly increase Dreamliner sales in order to meet accounting needs and cover expenses.
Aside from these two most recent orders, sales of wide-body aircraft have generally been slow for Boeing and its competitors. The lack of demand has been linked to fluctuating fuel costs, as well as the widespread availability of used commercial aircraft, including the Boeing 777 and Airbus A330. Many in the industry are hopeful that the recent upswing in Dreamliner orders may signal a positive shift in the market.
Benefits of the Dreamliner
Despite sluggish sales, there’s no doubt the Boeing 787 offers a number of benefits for air passengers. Its perks include:
- Larger windows for better views and a dimming option instead of the pull-down shade
- More overhead stowage space
- It’s 60 percent less noisy than similar aircraft
- LED lighting scheme to suit the “mood” of different flight stages (mealtime, nighttime, etc.)
- Better range than its predecessors—it can fly more than 9,400 miles without stopping to refuel
Whether these benefits translate into greater demand and more sales for Boeing remains to be seen.
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Banner image by Dave Size via Wikimedia Commons