Boeing [NYSE: BA] and First Choice Airways of the United Kingdom reached agreement on an additional four Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. By exercising options for these airplanes, First Choice Airways has placed a third consecutive order for the advanced-technology 787.
First Choice became European launch customer when it announced in July 2004 that it would order six 787s. It placed the order in February 2005, then followed with a second order in September 2006 for two more. Today's announcement brings First Choice Airways' order total to 12 Dreamliners, making it the largest 787 customer in Europe.
First Choice's order book of 12 787s will double its fleet by the time all the airplanes are in service.
"Having taken the decision to increase our commitment to long-haul destinations, we wanted to ensure we could do this in the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way, while offering our customers new destinations and even more comfortable travel," said Dermot Blastland, managing director of First Choice Mainstream Holidays. "When we announced our selection in 2004, we believed the new Boeing 787 would be key to achieving this. The success of our long-haul program with our upgraded Boeing 767s has given us the confidence to order 12 Boeing 787s. The 787s will offer a unique experience for our customers as we establish ourselves at the forefront of long-haul leisure travel."
Using 20 percent less fuel per passenger than similarly sized airplanes, the 787 is environmentally progressive, with 20 percent lower emissions and quieter takeoffs and landings.
"This third order from First Choice is another vote of confidence in the 787's capabilities and unprecedented environmental performance," said Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales for Europe, Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "It's exciting and very satisfying when great customers like First Choice continue to select your product. It speaks to their faith in the 787 and in Boeing. I'm also very proud that First Choice is making the 787 an integral part of its environmental leadership."
First Choice Airways, a subsidiary of First Choice Holidays PLC, has selected the all-new GEnx engines developed by General Electric to power its 787 fleet.
Today's order was previously accounted for as unidentified on Boeing's orders and deliveries Web site.
The first 787 is on schedule for first delivery in 2008. Thirty-seven customers have ordered 464 787s, making it the most successful launch of a commercial airplane in Boeing's history.