Boeing and potential customers in talks about 777X

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Boeing is looking at expansive and more modest changes to the 777 widebody to keep the product viable, but a strategy decision is not likely soon, says Air Lease Corp. Chairman and CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy.

Boeing is already in talks with potential customers about the so-called 777X, says Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Jim Albaugh.

Some of the proposals being looked at include a brand-new engine to replace the GE90, which General Electric would first have to develop, Udvar-Hazy says.

Also on the agenda are potentially a new wing, or, at least, aerodynamic improvements.

Udvar-Hazy says the options range from major changes to a Band-Aid approach to keep the aircraft competitive versus the Airbus A350-1000.

Some options are “extremely costly, in terms of development and would involve significant redesign of the airplane,” he says.

The near-term focus for Boeing will be on getting the 787 into customer hands, he adds, so, “I don’t think Boeing is going to come to any quick decision.”

Aeroflot orders $4 billion worth of Boeing 777 Jets

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Aeroflot will buy $4 billion worth of Boeing airliners to expand its long-haul fleet, the airline said Thursday.

The flag carrier confirmed that it has sealed a deal with the U.S. aviation giant for 16 Boeing 777s to be delivered over a six-year period between 2012 and 2017. Eight 777-200ERs and eight 777-300ERs will be delivered.

A Boeing 777

The 327-seater 777-200ER is priced at $232.23 million in Boeing’s catalogue, while the 300ER, with 365 seats, has a price tag of $284.1 million. That would put the total value of the deal at $4.13 billion.

Both models of the 777 are long-haul aircraft designed for intercontinental flights. They should fill a gap in Aeroflot’s fleet created by repeated delays in delivery of Boeing’s flag ship 787 Dreamliner.

Aeroflot originally ordered 22 of the 290-seat Dreamliners three years ago, but delivery has been repeatedly delayed. The two sides have set up a working group to look for ways to deliver at least two of the Dreamliners before the Sochi Olympics kick off in 2014, Aeroflot said.

Aeroflot is also waiting for its first deliveries of the Sukhoi Superjet, which were expected to arrive in December. The first two of the new medium-haul airliner ordered by Aeroflot are now expected to be delivered in the spring.

At this point Aeroflot may not be in a hurry to receive the 98-seat Superjets, since its flights are scheduled to begin only in March 2011, and the airline does not want to pay leasing fees on idle aircraft, Vedomosti reported.

- The Moscow Times -

B747 Jumbos brought back by some carriers

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Surging bookings cause carriers like British Airways and Cathay Pacific Airways to return their biggest planes to traffic; thus, Boeing 747 jumbo jets are being brought out of desert storage.

Starting in October, British Airways will recall a 747-400 for flights to Dallas in its winter schedule freeing a Boeing 777 for an extra New York trip. Cathay Pacific has reinstated five freighters. United Airlines took a jumbo out of storage in California in June for use as a spare during the summer months.

Wide-body planes accounted for about 25 percent of the 200 aircraft retrieved from storage in May and June as carriers sought to tap rising demand for long-haul trips and a leap in cargo shipments. The number of 747s recalled in June exceeded those mothballed for the first time since January 2009, as shown on the data compiled by aviation consultant Ascend Worldwide Ltd.

According to Euan Fordyce, a spokesman of London-based British Airways, the airline is lifting winter capacity about 7 percent from a year earlier but will only add seats where it can do so without depressing yields, a measure of prices.

The deployment of the 747 to Dallas will provide about 70 more seats per flight, while the transfer of the 777 will take the number of services to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to seven a day from six, he said.

British Airways has learned a lesson from the 1990s, when it brought back “chunks” of capacity too quickly, Treasurer George Stinnes said in June. Europe’s third-largest airline still has seven 747s in storage, together with other models.

According to United Airlines spokesman Mike Trevino, United Airlines 747, with about 370 seats in a three- class layout, has operated on domestic flights between the carrier’s Chicago and San Francisco hubs and could be used as a stand-in for long-haul services to Asia, London and Frankfurt if required, adding that the plane may be removed from the fleet again this fall.

British Airways and Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific have both idled planes near Victorville on the southern edge of the Mojave Desert in California. Arid locations are favored for storage because the hot, dry conditions hamper corrosion.

Peter Schneckenleitner, spokesman for Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Europe’s second-biggest airline, is looking to reuse a single jumbo stored in Germany after returning about a dozen short-haul planes and smaller wide- bodies to service. The carrier has yet to decide where to deploy the jetliner.

Qatar Airways to get deal with Bombardier and Boeing

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Qatar Airways is in talks with Bombardier Inc (BDRBF) for up to 30 C-Series aircraft for its Qatar Executive jet unit and hopes to conclude a deal by the end of July, the carrier’s chief executive said Tuesday.

“We’re in talks only with Bombardier for 20 to 30 (jets),” Akbar Al Baker told reporters on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market conference.

Al Baker also confirmed that the carrier increased its order for Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner to six from two and expects to take delivery by September next year. Qatar Airways will receive its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in September 2011 as planned and that the U.S. plane maker has also offered to deliver more of the aircraft next year than planned.

Speaking to Dow Jones Newswires last June, Al Baker said Qatar Airways could pull its orders for 787 and 777 aircraft and become an exclusive Airbus customer if Boeing failed to move ahead with the much-delayed Dreamliner program.

Qatar Airways will increase its aircraft to 120 by 2013 from 82 currently and has placed orders for more than 200 aircraft worth more than $40 billion. The airline, which is launching flights to Spain, Brazil and Argentina this year, also plans to expand to Iraq when it gets more aircraft deliveries and has rights to fly to Irbil, Najaf and Baghdad, Baker added.

Source :,

TAAG Linhas Aereas de Angola to get Boeing 777-300 ERs


Boeing and Angola’s TAAG Linhas Aereas de Angola (Angola Airlines) announced yesterday the airline’s order of two 777-300ERs (Extended Range) in a deal that also includes purchase rights for two additional 777-300ER jetliners.

“The efficiency, reliability and popularity of the 777 family will contribute to TAAG re-establishing itself as one of Africa’s premier airlines,” said Marlin Dailey, vice president, Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

TAAG currently flies Boeing 777-200ERs 10 times weekly from Luanda, Angola, to Lisbon, twice weekly to Beijing via Dubai and four times weekly to Rio de Janeiro.

Angola Minister of Transports Dr. Augusto da Silva Tomas and TAAG Chairman Dr. Pimentel Araujo joined several senior U.S. government and Boeing officials to celebrate the order at the Corporate Council on Africa U.S.-Africa Infrastructure Conference in Washington, D.C.

“The Boeing 777-300ER is recognized by airlines and passengers alike as the No. 1 choice for long-distance travel. These two 777s will add to our current fleet of 777s so that we can expand our premium service offerings to Europe.” Dr. Araujo said.

The two 777-300ERs are valued at approximately $544 million at list prices. The order originally was posted as unidentified on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries Web site in 2009.

“We look forward to continue working together with TAAG as a long-term, trusted partner.” Dailey added.

The 777 family is the world’s most successful twin-engine, twin-aisle airplane. Sixty customers around the world have ordered more than 1,100 777s.

- planenews

FedEx Express to Take Delivery of First B777 Freighter

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FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the company that invented overnight shipping 38 years ago, has made international express shipping even faster with the unveiling today of its first Boeing 777 Freighter (777F) during ceremonies with The Boeing Company in Everett, Wash. FedEx Express is the first U.S.-based global all-cargo freight airline to take delivery of the 777F, and has placed the largest order for the aircraft model to date.

“The Boeing 777 is an extraordinary testament to our dedication to fleet enhancement, allowing FedEx Express to provide unmatched services to our customers around the world” said David J. Bronczek, president and chief executive officer, FedEx Express. “Its payload capacity, range and environmental efficiencies create well-rounded, long-term strategic value for our company in meeting the global shipping demands of customers.”

Introduction of the 777F to the FedEx fleet of more than 650 aircraft expands what is already the world’s largest cargo airline. Its international routes will provide service benefits to customers and enhance the efficiency of the FedEx Express global network.

The 777F is the world’s largest twin-engine cargo aircraft. Its flight range, the equivalent of about 6,675 land miles, or nearly three times the approximate distance between the east and west coasts of the U.S., is the longest of any two-engine freighter, with a payload capacity of 215,000 pounds (98 metric tons).

This represents an increase in range of more than 2,400 miles and an additional 14,000pounds of payload over the MD-11 freighter, which until now has been the primary long-haul aircraft in the company’s fleet.

The global freighter’s range enables FedEx Express to fly between major markets and hubs in Asia, Europe and the U.S. with more freight and in less time than it takes today, allowing latercut-off times for customers in the markets to drop off their shipments. For example, 777F transit times from points in Asia to the U.S. will be from one to three hours faster than those of the MD-11.

By April 2010, FedEx Express plans to have four 777Fs serving routes between Asia and the U.S. In all, there will be 15 777Fs in the company’s fleet by the end of fiscal 2014; FedEx Express also has a second order of 15 777Fs, which will be delivered between fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2019, and holds options on 15 more 777Fs.