Air France recently ordered four additional Boeing [NYSE: BA] 777-300ERs through options it held from an existing contract.
The airplanes are valued at $920 million at list prices. Deliveries begin in April 2006. The orders were recently posted to Boeing 's orders website. Air France already operates eight 777-300ERs. The additional aircraft will be used on the airline's popular leisure routes to the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.
Air France will arrange the 777-300ERs in a configuration that supports heavy demand for service on those routes. The airplanes also will be fitted with seatback in-flight entertainment systems in all classes.
"The 777's world-famous comfort, range and flexibility make it ideally suited for leisure routes like Paris to Reunion , Pointe-a-Pitre and Fort de France," said Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales for Europe and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We are very pleased that Air France has again chosen the 777-300ER, based on the successful in-service experience they've had with their first 777-300ERs."
Air France took delivery of its first 777-300ER in April 2004. Air France 's existing backlog of eight 777-300ERs plus today's option exercises for four brings its total backlog for delivery to 12 airplanes.
"The 777-300ER has been a more efficient replacement for the previous airplanes on our routes and has significantly reduced community noise," said Patrick Alexandre, executive vice president of Commercial and International Networks for Air France . "It has proven itself in our fleet as a passenger-pleasing moneymaker on other routes like Paris to Tokyo . We are certain that its comfortable interior, together with the in-flight entertainment features and superior Air France service, will improve the flying experience for our customers going to the Caribbean and Indian Ocean locales."
The airplanes are powered by General Electric GE90-115B engines.
The range, efficiency, and reliability of the 777-300ER allows airlines to open new city pairs, provide greater flexibility in route planning, and enable point-to-point travel, which is preferred by passengers worldwide. To date, 681 777s (including 107 777-300ERs) have been sold to airlines around the world, making it the preferred product in its market segment by airlines and passengers.