Boeing [NYSE: BA] Commercial Airplanes Vice President of Airplane Production Carolyn Corvi led a 38-member company delegation on a 16-hour and 47-minute record-setting 777-200ER delivery flight of 8,060 nautical miles (12,896 kilometers) from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle that arrived Saturday, Nov. 11, in Luanda, Angola.
The lead airplane will share the record with TAAG Angola Airline's second 777-200ER that matched the speed-over-distance record and arrived in Luanda an hour later. In addition, two of three 737-700s departed Seattle on Nov. 9, while the 777s and a third 737 departed the next day. All five airplanes arrived in Luanda between 11 a.m. and noon on Nov. 11.
"I know I speak for all the hard-working and talented people back in Seattle who are responsible for building these magnificent airplanes when I offer our most heartfelt congratulations on this day of national celebration," Corvi said. "It's wonderful to see the pride TAAG and the government of Angola share with us as we mark the occasion of this record 5-airplane delivery on this special day."
The arrival ceremony for TAAG's new fleet of commercial jetliners was attended by Angola's President, his Excellency Eng. José Eduardo dos Santos and many of the country's parliamentarians.
TAAG becomes the latest African airline to opt for both single-aisle and twin-aisle offerings from Boeing. Boeing's latest twin-aisle airplane, the 787 Dreamliner, is scheduled to enter service in 2008 and has already been selected by three of the continent's major airlines. Across its entire product line, Boeing continues to build on its overwhelming market dominance in Africa.
TAAG's Chairman Dr. Jesus Nelson, who was on hand at the official delivery ceremony in Seattle a day prior to the airplanes' departure, remarked that TAAG will take delivery of an additional 737-700 in January 2007 and an additional 777-200ER in the fourth quarter of next year. He also commented that the airline was in negotiations for a 777-300ER.
"We've always been confident that we had chosen the very best and efficient jetliners," Dr. Nelson said. "However, it is the relationship we've forged with Boeing and their willingness to work hand in hand with us as we implement our strategic plan -- one that ultimately will enhance our country's economic growth -- that truly solidified our decision."