The first two 717-200 airliners for Bavaria International Aircraft Leasing Company were presented to Olympic Aviation in a ceremony at the Boeing Long Beach Division last night. Olympic, based in Athens, Greece, has leased two 717s from Bavaria and will be the first operator of the twin-engine jetliners in Europe.
Painted in a distinctive livery featuring colorful interlocking rings on the airplane tail sections, the airplanes are scheduled to enter passenger service by the end of this month.
Petros Stefanou, chief executive officer of Olympic Aviation, said the airline plans to expand its route network regionally, using the 717s from Thessaloniki to Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Munich, Paris, Stuttgart, and Larnaca, Cyprus.
Jerry Callaghan, director, 717 program, told an audience of employees, leasing company and airline officials, "Olympic Aviation will provide the first regularly scheduled service for the 717 outside the United States. We believe the flying public in Europe will embrace the airplane's quiet and clean performance as well as its high comfort level as enthusiastically as travelers here in this country."
AirTran Airways, launch customer of the 717-200, began flying the new airplane on routes in the Eastern and Midwestern U.S. last October.
Bavaria ordered five 717-200s in May 1998. The leasing company, based in Munich, Germany, has taken title to four of the airplanes. The fifth is scheduled to be delivered by Boeing in April.
Karsten Sensen, managing director of Bavaria International Aircraft Leasing Company, said, "The 717 is based on the robust design of the Douglas twinjets, and it incorporates modern technology and new engines. I am pleased to see it is proving itself in service, and I believe it will meet all our expectations with Olympic Aviation."
Olympic Aviation is configuring its 717s with 34 seats in business class and 71 in coach.
The 717 is powered by two BR715 engines, developed by Rolls-Royce-Deutschland, formerly BMW/Rolls-Royce. The engines are produced in Dahlewitz, Germany. The BR715 helps make the 717 the quietest airplane in the 100-seat class, and the airplane also features emission levels well below current limits established by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The company has recorded 130 firm orders and 125 options, including airplanes already delivered to customers.