Emirates wants 100 or more stout wide bodies. It already has a hankering for Boeing Product. It also cancelled Airbus leaving 70 A-350 exactly in its dream with a monstrous 787 chasing it aspirations away. Emirates is pondering both airline makers for the next giant order. So much is on the line for both manufacturers. One loves the smack talk with an order of this magnitude. Airbus would catch Boeing if it took in an order for 100 for the A-350-900. It would crow all the way to Farnsborough Air Show and back. Boeing would close its case on new wide-body once and for all, keeping its European rival deeply sadden over the order loss.
The question is asked who will get the nod. Emirates wants more thrust out of the Boeing 787-10. How much more, it is not said? It would require a new engine configuration from either GE or Rolls to meet its requirements, and coast billions and some time for Boeing to do so. It can be done but would delay the program in time of maybe another year or two. Emirates could wait for either builder a little while, as that wait would open up the order book causing a continuous flow for Emirates delivery schedule. It doesn't have to wait for Airbus for the thrust improvement because its already there at Emirates level of thrust requirement. Hot weather robs thrust performance in the desert regions and Emirates needs the thrust on its larger airplanes obviously. Boeing knows this as well, but has committed to optimizing thrust range for its 787-10 less than what Emirates prefers.
The A-350-9 maybe too much of an aircraft for Emirates as the Airbus A-350 prefers spanning the globe while optimizing its design and efficiency. The 787-10 was designed for the middle length routes as it covers 90% of the worlds long routes. It sounds intriguing for Emirates, but it comes back to Boeing's thrust for its heavy aircraft in the desert.
Boeing, for a hundred wide-bodies will do most anything for the sale. Even order up a new engine configured for greater thrust requirements. It's just plain hot in the middle east, and thrust is on order. However, Emirates is also going North with new routes across Europe, and other regions which is not temperamental as the desert sun. The nominal 787-10 could serve those regions without thrust enhancements while avoiding high density desert airports.
I would expect Boeing will address engine builders over the thrust issue in earnest and quickly. I also expect the three year lead time will give Boeing some solutions by 2018, when the first 787-10's start delivery with its other customers.
In all, Boeing has the capability of selling 100 787-10's with an engine redesign developing more thrust in a "Just for Emirates" power plant, and for any other customer needing the thrust required engine flying along the equator using a 787-10. Some programs only start with 100 orders to begin with and a 787-10 desert burner would be a worthy project, and completed in under three years. GE has the means as well as Rolls, who want a piece of this action. Adding more thrust is not a Boeing lost leader in the over-all scheme of things. Not doing anything for a tempting order would be a big Boeing loss.