Boeing 787 Dreamliners can now fly farther away from landing fields, giving airlines the option of adding routes.
The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for Dreamliners to fly 5.5 hours from an airstrip, up from three hours previously since the first 787 passenger jet took the sky in 2011.
The twin-aisle passenger jet is assembled in North Charleston and Everett, Wash.
"We're delighted that this capability, which was designed into the airplane from the very beginning, has been certified," said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager of the 787 program for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Our customers are eager to expand their 787 operations."
Boeing said the move signals continued confidence in the airplane's technical capabilities.
The extended operational time away from an airfield will make the 787s more efficient as they allow more direct flight paths, which can save thousands of pounds of fuel and reduce carbon emissions, according to Boeing.
More than 1,030 787s have been ordered by 60 customers to date. Boeing has delivered 146 Dreamliners to 19 customers.
The aerospace giant is currently making 10 Dreamliners a month to fill back orders. About three a month are made in North Charleston. The number will jump to 12 a month in 2016 and 14 a month by 2019 between the two production sites.
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