Boeing has secured orders from Japan Airlines, Vietnam Airlines and Continental Airlines for its 7E7 composite Dreamliner.
The Japan Airlines Corporation (JAL) has selected the Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner as its next generation mid-sized twin aisle aircraft with a requirement for 30 firm deliveries and 20 options will be fulfilled with a combination of 7E7-3s and 7E7-8s.
Deliveries are to begin in 2008, as replacements for JAL’s Boeing 767s and Airbus A300-600s. The airline has not yet made a decision on which engines will power its planes.
“”In selecting the 7E7, Japan Airlines continues to demonstrate leadership and vision for the future of commercial aviation,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally. “”The 7E7 will provide JAL the best in efficiency, economics, and reliability, and it will provide passengers with unprecedented levels of comfort while taking them where they want to go, when they want to go, non-stop, point-to-point anywhere in the world.””
Japan Airlines is the latest 7E7 launch customer, joining ANA (All Nippon Airways), Air New Zealand, Blue Panorama, First Choice and Primaris Airlines. Customer-announced orders for the 7E7 now total 112 airplanes, with 56 under firm contract. Negotiations continue with additional customers worldwide.
“The 7E7 will be the key airplane on a variety of domestic and international routes and will provide outstanding flexibility in our route planning,” said Takenori Matsumoto, senior managing director, Japan Airlines Corp. “We are very excited about the benefits of the 7E7 and the wonderful flying experience that it will provide our customers.”
In joining the 7E7 launch group, JAL will be involved in the 7E7 family’s future development. The 7E7 is being designed with airlines, passengers, investors and the environment in mind.
Boeing confirmed that Vietnam Airlines has formally selected the Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner as its future mid-sized, twin aisle jetliner with the carrier planning to take four 7E7-8s during 2010. The value of the airplanes is estimated at $500 million at list prices.
Vietnam Airlines, the national airline of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, becomes the eighth announced customer for the 7E7, which was launched in April 2004 with an order of 50 airplanes by ANA of Japan. Vietnam Airlines will participate on the 7E7 launch team.
“”Vietnam Airlines joins a growing roster of Asian carriers who have chosen the 7E7 to gain its competitive advantages,”” said Larry Dickenson, vice president, Sales – Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “”The highly fuel-efficient and comfortable 7E7 is the perfect airplane for Vietnam Airlines as it prepares to expand its business with the world’s most technologically advanced airplane.””
Customer announced orders and commitments for the 7E7 now total 126 airplanes, including 56 under firm contract. Negotiations remain underway with a number of key airlines worldwide. Boeing and Vietnam Airlines expect to finalize the 7E7 order in the first quarter of 2005. Vietnam Airlines plans to use the 7E7-8 to expand its route system and to replace some existing airplanes. The airline has not made an engine selection.
“”We are looking forward to becoming a Boeing 7E7 operator,”” said Nguyen Xuan Hien, president and CEO – Vietnam Airlines. “”The 7E7-8 will allow Vietnam Airlines to further develop our route structure to include city pairs that would otherwise not be financially viable, while providing increased comfort to our passengers.””
Boeing jetliners comprise Vietnam Airlines’ entire long range fleet. The carrier operates six 777-200ERs and four 767-300ERs. Four of the 777s have been purchased directly from Boeing, the remaining two 777s and the 767s are leased.
Continental Airlines have also issued confirmation to purchase ten 7E7 Dreamliner airplanes. The companies signed an agreement calling for delivery of the 7E7-8s beginning in 2009. The 7E7 order is valued at approximately US$1.3 billion at list prices. Boeing and Continental expect to formally complete the agreement early in 2005.
Continental is the first major U.S. carrier to announce plans to acquire the technologically advanced and highly efficient airplane slated to enter service in 2008.
“”The 7E7 is simply a game changer,”” said Gordon Bethune, Continental Airline’s chairman and chief executive officer. “”It will position Continental for significant international growth from our New York and Houston hubs over the next decade.””
This agreement increases to 122 the number of customer-announced 7E7 orders since the program’s launch in April of this year. Firm contracts are in place for 56 airplanes and negotiations continue with additional launch team customers worldwide.
“”Continental is a bellwether addition to the 7E7 Launch Team,”” said Mike Bair, Boeing vice president and general manager of the 7E7 program. “”Continental understands the superior operating economics, faster turnaround times and lower maintenance costs of Boeing airplanes.””
The other 7E7 Launch Team members are ANA, Air New Zealand , Europe ‘s Blue Panorama and First Choice, Primaris of the U.S. and Japan Airlines. “” This order plus the previously announced orders demonstrate the Dreamliner’s unprecedented appeal for a wide range of airlines with distinct business models,”” said Bair.
“”The 7E7 is the widebody of the future for Continental, and will provide the platform for our long-term international growth,”” said Larry Kellner, Continental’s president and COO. “”Leasing these additional 757 and 737 aircraft will be another step in outdistancing our competitors in this rapidly changing environment.””
Reports in the US this week however, suggest that Continental Airlines may be forced to renege on this agreement unless the company, following talks with its unions, receive $500 million in wage cuts by the end of February. The company, who are the fifth largest US airline, posted net losses of $157 million at the end of the third quarter 2004.
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