Reported by Chris Sloan in Charleston, and James Field
NORTH CHARLESTON – Sunday night, Singapore Airlines took delivery of the first commercial Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner in Charleston, South Carolina. This aircraft delivery completes the 787 trio alongside the -8 and the -9 variants.
The 787-10 is exclusively assembled at Boeing South Carolina’s North Charleston facility. Today’s -10 delivery marked the 655th deliveries of a 787, numbering 350 787-8s, 305 787-9s and including the first of the 30 firm order for 787-10s destined for Singapore.
— The Airchive (@TheAirchive) March 26, 2018
This is also a historic occasion because this is the first new model of a Boeing airliner designed entirely by The Boeing Company to be delivered outside of the Puget Sound area. The Boeing 717 was designed by McDonnell Douglas and was initially designated the MD-95.
Approximately 3,000 enthusiastic Boeing South Carolina Team Members showed up in the windy, cold and damp weather to celebrate this historic occasion, with weather more typical of Seattle than Charleston.
The 787-10 will initially operate the carrier’s Singapore-Osaka route starting in May followed by Perth, Australia. Crew familiarization routes to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok will begin earlier. The airline has 30 units of the aircraft type on order.
Another first for the carrier and Boeing is that the Singapore Air Group will be the first to operate all three variants of the 787. This accounts for carriers like Scoot managing the 787-8 and -9 aircraft type as well as Singapore Airlines operating the -10.
Kevin McAllister, CEO Boeing Commercial Airplanes commented on this milestone: “The 787-10 sets the bar as the most efficient twin-aisle in its class on a cost per mile basis. Singapore is the first to fly all three variants of the 787. We’re very proud of the One Boeing Team who came together to build this beautiful plane.”
Goh Choon Phong, Singapore Airlines’ CEO also commented on the first -10 out of 49 on order: “My voice is shivering because I am very excited about this event and I am not worried about the cold because nothing beats the warm welcome I have received by Boeing South Carolina.”
“The 787-10 is a work of art. A magnificent piece of machinery. We are we debuting a new Business Class product on the 787-10: 36 in business class and 301 passengers in economy. But I can’t show you just yet. We want to keep the excitement up. We firmly believe we have a superior product in the 787-10 for regional flying that exceeds many competitor’s long hauls. In 1972, we were first Southeast Asian carrier to order the 747. Since then we have operated nearly all the Boeing aircraft models. We are the biggest customer for the 787-10,” he added.
Rolls Royce’s Director, Customer, and Services added to today’s proceedings saying: “It’s been a hell of a ride to power this incredible family of aircraft. The 787-10 is powered by the Trent 1000 TEN. This is the first aircraft to be powered by this outstanding engine. Singapore Airlines is the Trent’s largest customer for the 787. And this is the 75th Rolls Royce powered aircraft we have delivered to Singapore Airlines.”
— The Airchive (@TheAirchive) March 25, 2018
Regarding comparisons for the three variants, each is different in their respect. For example, the 787-8 can carry 242 passengers and travel up to 7,355 miles at a time. The 787-9 can carry 290 passengers and travel up to 7,635 miles whereas the -10 compromises on more passenger capacity for less distance featuring a range of 6,430 miles and can carry up to 330 passengers at a time. For Singapore Airlines, in particular, the 787-10 will enable them to reach up to 80% of the world’s populations nonstop from Singapore.
The carrier and the manufacturer celebrated this milestone with an outside-based ceremony featuring a ribbon cutting and the exchanging of gifts to each other to show the relationship between the two parties.
Singapore and Boeing have had a strong relationship, with their first 737-100 in 1971 being delivered to them followed by the first 747-200 in 1972. The first 727-200 to the carrier was later received by the carrier in 1977.
They have also had their first DC-10-30 in 1978 too, with their first 757 being delivered six years after, and ultimately led on to the first 747-400 in 1989 and first 777-200 in 1997.
Now the two parties can celebrate yet another aircraft variant the carrier is going to take. Having been the launch customer for the A380 over ten years ago, Singapore Airlines knows what its like to have the first in the house.
This is not just a milestone for Singapore Airlines, but it is a milestone for those in at the North Charleston facility that has been involved in the development and the production of this variant. The first 787 delivery was made nearly six years ago in 2012 to Air India.
In the culmination of nearly 15 years worth of work, Boeing has been able to complete the 787 Family from the -8 variant first delivered in 2011 to the -9 in 2014, to the -10 variant delivered today.
Without the $2 billion of investment that the manufacturer has put into the Charleston plant, Boeing may not have progressed to this stage at all, by producing an aircraft type that has accumulated over 1,300 orders from 70 different customers alone.