The first of 10 Boeing 777s was delivered to Air France over the weekend and landed today at Paris. Powered by General Electric GE90 engines, Air France's new 777-200 is scheduled to begin service April 9.
"We decided to purchase the Boeing 777 in order to satisfy the growing need of our passengers to travel over longer distances in comfort," said Jean-Cyril Spinetta, chairman and chief executive officer of Air France Group. "It is always nice to acquire a new airplane, as this is the premier element of a modern fleet. This demonstrates the health of Air France in terms of its ambition, development needs and desire to renew its fleet."
"Every delivery is an important and exciting event for us at Boeing. But the significance of this first 777 delivery to Air France is tremendous," said Ron Woodard, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group president.
Air France's 777-200 is one of the first new jetliners equipped with the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) and predictive-windshear weather radar system (PWS) which Boeing is making standard on all models. The EGPWS system displays potentially threatening terrain and gives an audible alert up to a minute in advance of possible terrain conflict, compared with 10-15 seconds for previous systems. EGPWS is an enhanced version of AlliedSignal's traditional Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS). EGWPS incorporates a proprietary digital terrain map which it continuously compares to aircraft position data from the navigation system.
This newest member of the Air France fleet is a 777-200 IGW airplane. The -200IGW carries an additional 14,220 gallons (53,822 liters) of fuel, housed in the structural center section, for a total of 45,220 gallons (171,160 liters). The increased fuel capacity allows the airplane to fly from 1,510 to 2,300 statute miles (2,430 to 3,701 kilometers) farther than the initial 777-200 model, for a range of 6,860 to 8,225 statute miles (11,040 to 13,230 kilometers), depending on its takeoff weight.
This is also the first 777-200 IGW to be delivered with the new maximum takeoff weight of 648,000 pounds (294,192 kilograms). Previously delivered 777-200IGWs had a maximum takeoff weight of 580,000 to 632,500 pounds (263,090 to 286,900 kilograms).