The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has delivered to Air France the first Boeing
777-300ER (Extended Range) airplane that includes enhancements that improve the overall fuel efficiency of the 777-300ER by 1.4 percent. This amount is in addition to the 2 percent fuel-burn improvement already proven in revenue service by the airlines that operate the 777-300ER.
A 1.4 percent improvement in fuel efficiency on this airplane equates to an annual jet-fuel savings of approximately 200,000 gallons (757,000 liters).
"With fuel prices skyrocketing, we are excited that we were able to enhance the 777-300ER jetliner so it burns less fuel," said Lars Andersen, vice president for Boeing's 777 program. "Boeing took the initiative to make these changes based on discussions we had with our customers. I'm pleased that our largest 777-300ER operator, Air France, who was instrumental in working together with Boeing to help us make the airplane a reality, is the first to receive this new and improved 777-300ER.
The 1.4 percent additional improvement in fuel efficiency was brought about by a number of factors:
- GE Aircraft Engines modified its powerful GE90-115B engines.
- Boeing engineers reduced the airplane's drag by modifying the airplane's vortex generators and its air induction systems for the environmental control systems.
- Engineers also incorporated several weight-reduction improvements to the airplane's internal structure, including lighter weight environmental control-system ducts and main-deck floor panels.
All future 777-300ERs delivered to customers will include these enhancements, and Boeing has plans to incorporate these changes into the 27 777-300ERs currently in service.
Air France is the largest 777-300ER operator and was the first to put the airplane into service in May 2004. Air France operates a fleet of 11 777-300ERs and 25 777-200ERs.
The largest long-range twin-engine jetliner, the 777-300ER carries 365 passengers up to 7,880 nautical miles (14,594 kilometers). To date, 27 have been delivered to Air France, ANA, EVA Air, Japan Airlines and Emirates, and Boeing has received 132 orders for the 777-300ER from 13 customers, not including a recently announced commitment from Air India.
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, 781 777s have been sold to airlines around the world, making it the preferred product in its market segment by airlines and passengers.