Boeing to terminate the B787-3? – Suppliers Share Wrap

All Nippon Airways’ decision to convert its 28 B787-3 orders for B787-8s may have spelled the end of the high-capacity, medium range version of Boeing’s new aircraft. Randy Tinseth, VP Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, stated that getting B787s “into their hands for earlier delivery was a better solution for them” than waiting for the B787-3.

The B787-3 was designed to meet the requirements of Japanese carriers, with a shorter wingspan (to fit parking bays already designed for the B767-300), lower MTOW, seating for up to 290-330 passengers and a range of approximately 3,050 nm, compared to the 210-250 passengers and 8,200 nm of the baseline B787-8.

The high capacity and shorter range seemed to have made the aircraft ideal for short-haul trunk routes, such as those between Tokyo and other Asian capitals. However, the -3 ended up with just 43 orders, (30 by ANA and 13 by Japan Airlines) and these have been slowly eroded as the delays in the B787 programme mounted.

In 2009, All Nippon Airways cancelled two after Boeing put an indefinite hiatus on development of the -3, so it could concentrate on the -8. JAL cancelled its 13 -3 orders in Jun-2009.

The “market viability of the 787-3 is currently being assessed” according to Boeing, placing the aircraft in roughly the same category as Airbus' A380F, another current design that has no order backlog.

Boeing's shares lost 1.0% in trading on Friday. Other major movements were from aircraft leasing companies, with Air Partner losing 5.9% and Aerocentury falling 3.2%, while Babcock & Brown Air gained 2.7% and Genesis Lease rose 3.1%.

Selected Aviation suppliers’ daily share price movements (% change): 08-Jan-2010