The Boeing Company today confirmed airplane orders by Turkmenistan Airlines and Korean Air.
Turkmenistan Airlines has signed a definitive agreement for three Boeing 717-200 jetliners, and Korean Air ordered one new Boeing 747-400 freighter. The new orders are valued at approximately $291 million.
Delivery of the first Turkmenistan 717 will be in July 2001, continuing through October 2001. Korean Air is scheduled to take delivery of its new airplane in November 2001.
"The 717 is an excellent airplane as we continue with our plan to replace Russian-built aircraft with Boeing airplanes," said Ilyas Berdiev, chief executive of Turkmenistan Airlines. "We are confident passengers will enjoy the comfort and innovative features that make travel on the 717 a great flying experience."
Turkmenistan Airlines will configure its new airplanes to carry 110 passengers in a mixed-class configuration -- 55 in business-class and 55 passengers in economy class.
"The 717 is the perfect airplane for the quick turnaround, high frequency, short haul market," said Seddik Belyamani, executive vice president - Sales and Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group. "We are excited about the value that this newest member of the Boeing family will bring to Turkmenistan Airlines and the people of Turkmenistan. The 717 includes the latest technology and is one of the most environmentally friendly airplanes."
The order is part of Turkmenistan Airlines' plan to modernize its fleet with Boeing jetliners. The initial implementation of the plan took place in 1992 when Turkmenistan Airlines became the first airline in the Commonwealth of Independent States to purchase an airplane from Boeing.
The Boeing 717 twinjet is designed specifically for the short-range market, offering fuel-efficient operations for airlines and big-jet comfort for passengers. Boeing delivered 12 717s in 1999 and 13 thus far in 2000. There are currently 149 orders for the 717, including the Turkmenistan order and airplanes already delivered to customers.
The Korean Air order has already been included in cumulative order totals published by Boeing, attributed to an unidentified customer.
"One of our objectives is to strengthen our position as a leading cargo operator in the world and to take advantage of market growth opportunities," said Yi-Taek Shim, president and CEO - Korean Air. "The 747 freighters have proven to be an integral part of our plan to achieve this goal with unmatched efficiency, reliability, and the lowest ton-kilometer cost."
Korean Air is one of the world's leading air cargo operators, with a fleet of four MD-11 Freighters, seven 747-200 Freighters, and five 747-400 Freighters, two of which began operations in Los Angeles and New York this past June. In addition to the Boeing freighters, Korean Air is one of the largest operators of the 747-400 passenger airplane with a fleet of 26.
"We are delighted that Korean Air, a long-standing customer, is continuing its commitment to the Boeing family of airplanes," Belyamani said. "The 747-400 freighter carries twice as much cargo, twice as far as our competitor's leading freighter."
Part of the "Queen of the Skies" 747 family, the Boeing 747-400 Freighter has the lowest operating cost per ton-mile. It carries 124 tons (113,000 kg) of cargo more than 4,400 nautical miles (8,100 km.). The Boeing 747 family provides 31 percent of the world's freighter fleet capability.