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Boeing says 787 production will ramp to 12 per month by summer

NORTH CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - Boeing Co BA.N is ramping up total production of its widebody 787 Dreamliner to 12 planes a month from ten, Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina said Tuesday.

    Boeing delivered the 100th 787 Dreamliner widebody commercial jet from its South Carolina plant to American Airlines AAL.O on Tuesday. 

American now has 14 787-8s, all on international routes, said Terri Pope, Charlotte hub manager. This autumn, it will take delivery of its first 787-9, a larger version of the original Dreamliner, she said. It has ordered 22 of those, she said.

Boeing’s South Carolina plant delivered its first 787 in October 2012. “We’ll do the next hundred in half the time,” Wyse said.

South Carolina builds about three complete 787s a month. The planes are also built in Everett, Washington.

Boeing plans to boost total 787 production to 12 planes a month before the middle of the summer, a spokeswoman said.

Wyse said she does not anticipate reducing the number of direct Boeing employees at the South Carolina plant.

“On a per airplane basis, our employee base will come down but we cover that with natural attrition and having temporary workers, contract workers,” Wyse said, adding that she could not completely rule out layoffs.

The South Carolina plant will be the exclusive builder of the newest “stretch” version, the 787-10, which Boeing calls the “Dash 10.” Design work for the 787-10 is complete, first flights will take place next year, and first deliveries will be in 2018, Wyse said.

Reporting by Harriet McLeod; editing By Joseph White and Marguerita Choy

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