The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) today confirmed that Air France has signed a definitive agreement to exercise options for four more Boeing 777-200ERs (Extended Range) airplanes. This order means that Air France's 777-200ER fleet will total 23 airplanes by spring of 2002, including lease commitments.
The 777s are existing orders that have been previously accounted for in cumulative order totals published by Boeing. Until today, the customer for the order was unidentified.
"The 777 continues to meet our expectations in terms of global performance and passenger appeal and we are pleased to add these aircraft to our fleet," said Pierre Vellay, corporate vice president-New Aircraft and Fleet Planning, Air France.
The 777 family offers a cruise mach speed of .84 and is the most technologically advanced airplane in the industry. The Boeing 777 is unmatched in economics and range, providing its operators unlimited possibilities.
"The 777 has set a new level of comfort and spaciousness for air travel," said Seddik Belyamani, executive vice president - Sales and Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group. "I am delighted by their decision and we will continue to work closely with the airline to meet their future fleet requirements."
The airline plans to use its new airplanes to increase growth and frequency on existing routes throughout the world.
These airplanes will have the new General Electric GE90-94B engine, which currently is being flight-tested on an Air France 777-200ER airplane made available to Boeing for this purpose. Rated at 94,000 pounds of thrust, the GE90-94B builds on the proven success of the GE90 family, adding key performance-enhancing technologies such as the three-dimensional aerodynamic (3-D Aero), high-pressure compressor - a key component of the performance improvement to be incorporated into the GE90-115B engine currently under development. The application of 3-D Aero -- a computer design and analysis program - on the -115B engine design delivers improved fuel burn.
The first 777 airplane entered service in June 1995 and since then has become the best-selling airplane in its class. The longer-range Boeing -200 and -300 derivative twinjets were launched in a joint Boeing and General Electric press conference earlier this year.
Passengers have rated the Boeing 777 as the most comfortable airplane in its class. With 480 777s ordered by 31 customers, the 777 has captured 66 percent of this market segment.