US aircraft giant Boeing says its troubled 787 Dreamliner programme is getting more steady after battery fires and manufacturing glitches as it announced a 200-seat version of its 737 MAX 8.
Boeing said 787 production was "stabilising and maturing" after a rocky start that included the grounding of the aircraft due to overheating batteries and production problems with parts such as rivets.
The Chicago-based company is producing 10,787 jets a month and plans to increase that to 12 a month by the end of 2016 and 14 per month by the end of the decade.
President and Chief Executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Ray Conner, told a press conference at the Farnborough Air Show that there was "no slowdown in demand for this aircraft in the marketplace".
Conner said: "We continue to leverage lessons learned on the 787, painful though they may have been."
Conner added that he was confident the 787 could resist the challenge from the A330neo, the launch of which arch-rival Airbus announced at the show on Monday.
Conner said the 787 was lighter than the A330neo would be and would be more fuel-efficient, which would offset any advantage that airlines may gain from a lower purchase price for the A330.
"We know the A330 airframe and we're very comfortable with our airplane in terms of efficiency and the market place," Conner said.
Conner spoke as Boeing announced the new version of the 737 Max 8, which it said would provide 11 more seats of potential revenue.
Conner said: "With this increase in capacity and confidence in our engine and airplane testing, we're on track to deliver a 20% more fuel-efficient product than today's Next-Generation 737."
Talking about the industry as a whole, Conner said Boeing was starting to see modest improvement in profit margins, which were much better than they had been in the past.
"Overall I think the industry is in better shape than it has been since the mid-1990s," Conner said. "We continue to see unprecedented demand in the next 20 years."
He said Boeing had increased production by 55% since 2010 and had been able to reach unprecedented production rates that would "put us in a very good position for the coming years".
The company has forecast that the industry will need more than 36,000 airlines worth $5.2trn in the next 20 years, of which about half would be fleet replacement and the rest fleet expansion.
Conner concluded that Boeing was not seeing pressure in terms of not being able to ramp up production.
"We're prepared for anything that the world may present us with," he said.
The 200-seat 737 Max 8 launch follows last year's successful launch of the 787-10 Dreamliner and the 777X.
"Our current and future wide-body products leave no gaps in the market. Now that we've positioned ourselves for future growth, we're focused on executing on our plans and production rate increasesdelivering superior value to our customers," added Conner.
Boeing is now delivering the 737, 777 and 787 at record production rates.
Going into Farnborough, Boeing has booked 649 net orders this year including an order from Emirates for 150 777Xs finalised last week.