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KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has converted 6 orders for the Boeing 787-9 to the bigger Boeing 787-10. After order conversion KLM now has 15 Boeing 787-9s and 6 Boeing 787-10s on order. Deliveries for Boeing 787-9 are expected to commence this year, while the Boeing 787-10 will enter service with KLM starting in 2020. While KLM claims the order conversion is a result of long haul network planning, the order swap most probably also was a way to defer deliveries without breaching contract. The Air France-KLM Group has been struggling for a while and earlier already deferred deliveries to improve cash flows.

Increased payload capability

The order swap is a result of KLM’s long haul network planning, which seems to require capacity rather than additional range. Per Boeing’s latest capacity and range update the 5.3m longer Boeing 787-10 carries 330 passengers over a distance of 6,430nmi.

Order Book Boeing 787-10

With the order Boeing’s order book for the Boeing 787-10 grows to 146 units and makes up 18% of the total backlog. KLM will become the 8th customer for the Boeing 787-10 after ALC (30), Singapore Airlines (30), Etihad Airways (30), United Airlines (25), British Airways (12), GECAS (10) and ANA (3)