The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced that Japan Airlines Corporation (JAL) has selected the Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner as its next generation mid-sized twin aisle aircraft. JAL's requirement for 30 firm deliveries and 20 options will be fulfilled with a combination of 7E7-3s and 7E7-8s.
Deliveries are to begin in 2008, as replacements for JAL's Boeing 767s and Airbus A300-600s. The airline has not yet made a decision on which engines will power its planes.
"In selecting the 7E7, Japan Airlines continues to demonstrate leadership and vision for the future of commercial aviation," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally. "The 7E7 will provide JAL the best in efficiency, economics, and reliability, and it will provide passengers with unprecedented levels of comfort while taking them where they want to go, when they want to go, non-stop, point-to-point anywhere in the world."
Japan Airlines is the latest 7E7 launch customer, joining ANA (All Nippon Airways), Air New Zealand, Blue Panorama, First Choice and Primaris Airlines. Customer-announced orders for the 7E7 now total 112 airplanes, with 56 under firm contract. Negotiations continue with additional customers worldwide.
"The 7E7 will be the key airplane on a variety of domestic and international routes and will provide outstanding flexibility in our route planning," said Takenori Matsumoto, senior managing director, Japan Airlines Corp. "We are very excited about the benefits of the 7E7 and the wonderful flying experience that it will provide our customers."
In joining the 7E7 launch group, JAL will be involved in the 7E7 family's future development. The 7E7 is being designed with airlines, passengers, investors and the environment in mind.
The 7E7 family includes three airplanes seating 200- to 300 passengers that will fly between 3,500 and 8,500 nautical miles (6,500 to 16,000 kilometers). The 7E7 will allow airlines to offer passengers more of what they want: affordable, comfortable, non-stop, point-to-point travel to more destinations around the world.
The airplane will use 20 percent less fuel than today's airplanes of comparable size and provide customers with up to 45 percent more cargo revenue capacity. Passengers will find significant innovations including a new interior environment with higher humidity, wider seats and aisles, larger windows, and other conveniences.
In addition to bringing big-jet ranges to mid-size airplanes, the 7E7 will fly at Mach 0.85, as fast as today's fastest commercial airplanes, while using much less fuel.
The 7E7 will have a standard engine interface for its two engine types, the General Electric GENX (GE Next Generation) or Rolls Royce's Trent 1000, allowing it to be fitted with either at any point in time.
Boeing launched the 7E7 in April. Production will begin in 2006. First flight is expected in 2007 with certification, delivery and entry into service in 2008.