Boeing officially launched the Boeing 787-10 at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday. The manufacturer is going ahead with the development of the aircraft on the back of firm commitments for 102 from five different customers. The first 787-10 is to be delivered in 2018.

Among the customers launching the program are Air Lease Corporation (30 aircraft), United Airlines (20), British Airways (12), Singapore Airlines (30) and GECAS (ten). All of the orders are new commitments except ten of the 20 United aircraft, which have been rolled over from a previous 787 order and converted into the larger version.

The 787-10 is a 18 ft. stretch of the -9 allowing room for around 40 additional seats. Boeing says it will offer room for around 300-330 passengers. The aircraft will have a range of 7,000 naut. mi.

“The 787-10 will be the most efficient jetliner in history,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner said at the launch event in Paris. “The 787-10 is 25% more efficient than airplanes of its size today and more than 10% better than anything being offered by the competition for the future.”

According to Boeing, final assembly and flight tests of the aircraft are both to begin in 2017 with first delivery scheduled for 2018.

“The 787-10 will be one of the most powerful wide-body aircraft for decades ahead,” ALC Chairman/CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy said. In his opinion, the aircraft will benefit from operational and development experience gained on the -8 and the -9.

Boeing managed to overcome Hazy’s initial concerns about range by increasing it to 7,000 naut. mi. Hazy said that was addressed by introducing a slightly higher maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 553,000 pounds. Some reinforcements in the wing to body attachment area and on the landing gear were needed to accommodate the increased weight. Engine thrust will also be slightly higher than originally planned. “The range covers 97% of the wide-body city pairs of the world,” Hazy pointed out. Its range will be around 1,500 naut. mi. than the -9.

The ALC CEO believes that a lot of 777-200s and Airbus A340s will be replaced by the aircraft.

ALC is also working with Boeing on the 777X, but it is still too early for a launch decision according to Hazy. “It is still under design refinement,” Hazy stated.

The 787-10 will be a minimum change stretch of the -9 with many components identical and the third generation composite wing essentially unchanged. In terms of passenger capacity, the aircraft sits in between the competing A350-900 and -1000. Hazy believes the -10 will not have a major detrimental effect on the competitor as the markets addressed are slightly different.

In addition to the 30 787-10s, ALC is also taking three more -9 raising its total 787 commitment to 45 aircraft.

British Airways and United have already placed orders for smaller versions of the aircraft. United has 25 A350-900s on firm order, BA is taking 18 A350-1000s (plus options for 18 more). Singapore Airlines has firm orders for 40 A350-900s in place, Air Lease has committed 20 A350-900s and five -1000s. GECAS is therefore the only one of the 787-10 launch customers that has not also bought one of the A350-versions.