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Air Pacific, the flag carrier of the South Pacific island republic of Fiji, has placed an order for five Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, bringing total orders for the composite structure Boeing 787 family to 350 airplanes from 26 customers.
“This is a momentous decision for Air Pacific that has taken many months of detailed study and negotiation,” said Gerald Barrack, chairman of Air Pacific, Ltd. “I am pleased with the price negotiated and the certainty this decision provides for Air Pacific, for the future of air transport links within the Pacific and particularly for the future growth of Fiji’s tourism and export industries.”
“We are delighted to have concluded an extensive evaluation and negotiation, and are convinced that the right aircraft has been selected,” said John Campbell, Air Pacific managing director and CEO. “The Boeing 787-9 offers significantly decreased operating and maintenance costs, lower fuel consumption and increased passenger comfort, all vital considerations in an aviation world that is intensely competitive and subject to high fuel costs for the foreseeable future.”
Boeing say that the 787 will use 20 percent less fuel for comparable operations than similarly sized airplanes, while travelling at speeds similar to today’s fastest commercial airplanes, Mach 0.85. The 787-9 is the largest version of the 787 family currently being offered to airlines and will carry 250 to 290 passengers on routes of 8,600 to 8,800 nautical miles (15,900 to 16,300 km).
“As the airline is an all-Boeing operator, Air Pacific and Boeing have enjoyed a great relationship for many years,” said Rob Pasterick, vice president and chief financial officer, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, representing the company at the Suva press conference and contract signing ceremony. “Air Pacific is one of the great success stories in South Pacific aviation, having consistently produced profits in the face of tough competition. We are delighted that Air Pacific has selected the 787 after its rigorous evaluation.”
As much as 50 percent of the 787’s primary structure will be made of advanced composite materials, which allow higher cabin humidity and lower cabin altitude, providing the atmosphere for a great passenger experience. In addition, the 787 will have the largest windows of any airliner.
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