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Boeing talks of bigger 787 jet

Boeing Co. is talking with airlines about a stretch version of its new, fuel-efficient 787 jetliner. Yvonne Leach, Boeing’s spokeswoman for the 787 program, said the company is talking with Emirates Airlines, Qantas Airways Ltd. and other airlines about a stretched version of the jet and called its development “highly likely.”

Boeing has been reluctant to commit to a bigger 787 because it would steal sales from an extended-range version of its popular 777.

But industry analysts say it’s smart for Boeing to offer a larger 787, since rival Airbus SAS’ planned A350-900 is being designed to compete with both the 787-9 and the 777-200ER.