Air Austral Orders Two Boeing 777-200LR Worldliners
French airline Air Austral on Wednesday announced it has ordered two Boeing Long Range 777-200LR Worldliners in a deal valued at $501 million.
The airline 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.