PeaceAir of Sri Lanka to Become Newest Boeing 747-400 Customer

PeaceAir of Sri Lanka and Boeing Commercial Airplane Group today announced that the carrier will be the newest Boeing 747-400 operator. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of a combi version of the jumbo jet at the Farnborough Air Show.

Delivery of the new airplane is expected in December 1998. The approximate list price of a 747-400 is $180 million, Boeing confirmed.

"We are very pleased that the 747-400 Combi is the choice of PeaceAir to begin service between the nation of Sri Lanka and the world," noted Seddik Belyamani, BCAG vice president - South Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. "The airplane provides unique capabilities that will help PeaceAir attain the high standards of excellence that it has targeted."

"This airplane will enable PeaceAir to successfully launch our dream of promoting peace, harmony and joy through the interaction of the world's peoples," said Gamini Wethasinghe, chairman of PeaceAir. "Our new 747-400 will be the perfect aircraft to meet our goals."

PeaceAir's new 747-400 Combi will be configured to carry 284 passengers, 16 in first class, 32 in upper-deck business class and 236 in economy. In addition, the airplane can carry seven pallets of cargo, with a capacity of up to 39 metric tons (86,000 pounds). The airplane will be powered by four General Electric CF6-80C2B1F engines.

PeaceAir was formed six years ago today to focus on flying religious travelers to places of worship and to promote tourism to Sri Lanka. The airline plans to operate flights between Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Europe (primarily the Scandinavian and Baltic nations), Australasia and the United States, with service beginning January 13, 1999.

PeaceAir intends to donate 80 percent of its profits to charities to build hospitals and homes for retired persons in Sri Lanka and abroad.

Total announced orders for the Boeing 747 -- the flagship of many of the world's leading airlines -- are nearly 1,300. With nearly 1,100 airplanes in service and its distinctive trademark "hump," the 747 is the world's most recognizable commercial jetliner.