Boeing Co. has quietly added 30 fuel-efficient 787 jets to its order book without identifying the customer.
The order, added to Boeing's Web site last week, was for 30 787-8s worth an estimated$4.6 billion (3.39 billion EUR) at list prices, Peter Conte, a spokesman at Boeing's Seattle-based commercial airplane headquarters, said Wednesday.
Conte said the latest company to buy the hot-selling 787 asked to remain unidentified, but that he expects the customer to make the order public in the near future. "That could be in a matter of weeks or months," Conte said.
To date, Chicago-based Boeing has sold 544 of its 787s to nearly four dozen customers.
So far, only three airlines have placed orders for 30 787s or more: Japanese carriers All Nippon Airways Co. and Japan Airlines Corp., and Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd.
The 787 is designed to burn 20 percent less fuel than comparable airplanes by using mostly carbon-fiber composites, which are lighter and easier to maintain than aluminum.
Boeing has said the 787 is scheduled to make its first flight this summer and remains on track to enter commercial service next year.
Also on Wednesday, the chief executive of Mideast budget carrier Air Arabia, told Dow Jones that the airline will decide within three months whether it will buy some 34 new planes from Boeing or rival Airbus SAS, based in Toulouse, France.
"Thirty-four new aircraft is a conservative number," Adel Ali told Dow Jones. "We definitely need more than this."
He did not specify which aircraft models Air Arabia was looking at.
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