Air Austral, Okay Airways and Qatar Airways order new Boeing aircraftJuly 21st, 2010 - 8:23 pm ICT by BNO News
FARNBOROUGH, ENGLAND (BNO NEWS) — French airliner Air Austral, Chinese airliner Okay Airways and Qatar Airways on Wednesday announced it ordered numerous new Boeing aircraft in deals valued at a total of around $1.8 billion.
Air Austral ordered two Boeing Long Range 777-200LR Worldliners in a deal valued at $501 million. The airliner is based on the island nation of Reunion, which is a vacation locale in the South Indian Ocean and is renowned by outdoor adventurers for its mountainous volcanic interior.
“The 777-200LR is the only wide-body airplane that can fly non-stop to Paris with a full payload from our short runway on the island of Mayotte,” said Gerard Etheve, Air Austral chairman of the Board and CEO. “Because we currently operate 777-200ERs, the introduction of the 777-200LR to our fleet is an easy transition offering the same award-winning passenger experience, while using the same air crews and common operational support systems.”
Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, welcomed the sale and said Air Austral has a long experience with Boeing products. “Its current fleet of two 777-300ERs, three 777-200ERs and two 737s consistently delivers superior economic value and schedule reliability,” Dailey said.
In addition, Air Austral will receive two new 737-800s at the end of 2010, a third leased 777-300ER early next year as well as these two new 777-200LR in mid-2011 and 2012. The long-range 777-200LRs will add performance and capacity to help Air Austral meets its growth objectives, Boeing said.
The 777-200LR Worldliner is the newest passenger version of the 777 with a range of 9,395 nautical miles (17,395 kilometers). It can connect virtually any two cities in the world nonstop.
Additionally, Okay Airways announced at the Farnborough International Airshow in England that it has ordered 10 News-Generation 737-800s, in a deal valued at around $800 million.
Okay Airways is China’s first privately owned airline and already operates several Boeing aircraft. “Okay Airways is a firm believer in the Next-Generation 737-800, which is the backbone of our fleet and has proved its reliability and efficiency on a daily basis,” said Wang Shusheng, chairman of Okay Airways. “The new additions will help us expand our domestic routes and even explore regional markets.”
Okay Airways, an all-Boeing operator, obtained Civil Aviation Administration of China’s (CAAC) approval and started commercial operation in March 2005. Okay Airways is headquartered in Beijing and uses Tianjin Binhai International Airport as its fleet base.
It currently operates four 737s, including three 737-800s and one 737-300 converted freighter, on trunk routes with direct flights to more than 20 domestic destinations.
Okay Airways also will lease four 737-800s this year, and plans to expand its fleet by leasing five 737-800s each year prior to the new delivery.
“Okay Airways has been a dedicated operator of Boeing 737s since it was established. Boeing is honored that 10 more 737-800s will join Okay Airways’ fleet to support its strategy in this fast-growing market,” said Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales & Marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Okay Airways, which started with the Next-Generation 737-800.”
The Boeing 737-800 is the best-selling version of the successful Next-Generation 737 family and Boeing announced in June that it will increase production rates on the Next-Generation 737 program to 35 airplanes a month in 2012 to meet continued strong demand.
Also on Wednesday, Qatar Airways announced it has ordered two additional Boeing 777-200LRs aircraft, in a deal valued at around $501 million at average list prices.
Qatar Airways, based in Doha, Qatar, already operates six 777-200LRs, 11 777-300ERs and two 777 Freighters. Including Wednesday’s order, Qatar Airways has 10 777s in unfilled orders.
“The 777 has become the cornerstone of our fleet,” said Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ CEO. “It is a tool for profitability but also a platform for delivering the highest customer satisfaction. Its service reliability and cabin architecture, coupled with our innovative interiors and world-class in-flight service, have made the 777 the airplane of choice for our passengers.”
Qatar took delivery of its first 777 Freighter last May.
“In its first few months of operation the 777 Freighter is performing as promised by Boeing and as we expected,” Al Baker said. “It’s meeting operating-economics targets and is well on its way to helping us grow the freight transport piece of our business.”
Qatar also has thirty 787 Dreamliners on order, and Wednesday announced it has accelerated 787 deliveries to support its goal of serving 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide by 2013.
“Qatar Airways is one of the true five-star airlines in the world with an unparalleled fleet and outstanding service,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We look forward to a continued partnership as Qatar expands its position on the international stage.”
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