MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Boeing Co
"We are doing a flight-test program to test improvements to the airframe and the engine to improve the efficiency of the airplane another 2 percent," Randy Tinseth, the marketing vice president for Boeing's commercial aircraft division, said of the 737 line.
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"This, coupled with improvement over the last 10 years or more, means that the 737 we deliver in 2012 will be about 7 percent more fuel efficient," he told Reuters in Mexico City.
Boeing was still evaluating whether to build an all-new 737 line or add a fuel-efficient engine to the existing line.
"We are leaving our options open," Tinseth said.
The company expects to maintain its third-quarter delivery target for the long-delayed 787 Dreamliner, Tinseth said.
In a presentation to reporters in Mexico, Tinseth said the world's second-largest commercial plane maker expects Latin American airlines will need 2,180 new planes -- worth around $210 billion -- to expand over the next 20 years.
Separately, Tinseth said the company was working with the National Transportation Safety Board after a preliminary report on Monday revealed possible manufacturing flaws and more evidence of fatigue cracks in a Southwest Airlines Co
"We continue to work with them and support them as needed."
(Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Maureen Bavdek)