LE BOURGET - Boeing (IW 500/16) launched a bigger version of its next-generation Dreamliner plane at the Paris Air Show Tuesday with more than 100 orders and a clear message - after a run of technical blows, the U.S. firm is back on track.

The announcement came on the second day of the world's biggest air show, with competition between Boeing and its arch-rival Airbus heating up as the two giants vie for the spotlight, and smaller competitors make their presence felt.

"Boeing today officially launches the 787-10," Boeing head Jim McNerney told reporters, with commitments to buy the new aircraft from United Airlines, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, and leasing firms ALC and GECAS.

The 787-10 is bigger than its two brothers in the fuel-efficient Dreamliner family, and Singapore Airlines and ALC were its two biggest customers on Tuesday, with 30 orders each. ALC also ordered three 787-9 planes.

United committed to buying 20 planes while British Airways will get 12 and GECAS 10.

The announcement puts Boeing firmly back in the running after a slew of recent technical problems forced the grounding of the entire Dreamliner fleet worldwide for three months in a huge blow to the U.S. firm.

Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing at Boeing's commercial planes division, said last week that the growth in traffic was being met by more flights to more places, "rather than dramatically larger and larger aircraft," in a dig at Airbus's A380 superjumbo.

"It really gets to the heart of competition - to be successful, what you need to do is give the type of service that passengers want and what we all want is more frequent non-stop service.

"This is why we brought the 787 to the market place."

Undeterred, Airbus has got off to a roaring start at the air show - though most of its orders so far arise from the medium-haul market, which it already dominates.