Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Arik Air today announced an order for three 787-9s, two 777-200 LRs (Longer Range) and two 777-300ERs (Extended Range) at the delivery ceremony for two new 737-700s that will soon begin operations from the airline's home base in Lagos, Nigeria. The list-price value of the new order is approximately $1.5 billion. The airplanes were previously listed as unidentified on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries website.
Lee Monson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of Sales for the Middle East and Africa, formally announced Arik Air's order for the twin-aisle jets while hosting the airline's chairman, Sir J.A.I. Johnson; the managing director, Mike McTighe; and Dr. Harold Olusegun Demuren, director general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, as well as a large visiting delegation from Nigeria.
"This is a big day for Boeing and for the advancement of Nigeria's aviation sector," Monson said. "We know from our many strong relationships with African carriers that viable airlines play an instrumental role in countries' economic development. We're proud that acquiring new Boeing jets is integral to Arik Air's plans for modernization as they grow and prosper."
Arik Air is the fourth airline on the African continent to order Boeing's fast-selling 787 Dreamliner, as well as the fourth to order the market-leading 777. Boeing is currently working with Arik Air as the airline moves toward achieving Category 1 status with the FAA so that it may fly direct routes to and from the U.S.
"Arik Air has demonstrated its commitment to providing reliable, world-class air travel to and from Nigeria with an aggressive acquisition plan for the world's most modern and advanced commercial jets," said Arik's McTighe. "This will allow for a staged and strategic expansion plan both regionally and internationally that provides the utmost in passenger comfort and safety."
Launched in 2006, Arik Air is growing its fleet to 16 airplanes by June, and they will serve up to 11 domestic routes. In addition to bringing new airplanes into operation, the airline is also taking a leading role in contributing to the improvement of Nigeria's aviation infrastructure as a whole.
"Nigeria's aviation sector has truly turned a corner and is headed in the right direction," said Dr. Demuren, who was selected last year to lead Nigeria's Civil Aviation Authority. "It's very rewarding to be here today witnessing firsthand the unveiling of Arik Air's new Boeing Next-Generation 737s and to know Boeing is committed to work with Nigeria as we implement vast and far-reaching commercial aviation improvements throughout the country."
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, scheduled for entry into service in 2008, provides passengers with a better flying experience, and operators with a more efficient commercial jetliner. With the Dreamliner, Boeing continues its leadership and innovation with a mostly composite airplane that uses 20 percent less fuel per passenger than similarly sized airplanes. The 787 is designed for the environment with lower carbon emissions and quieter takeoffs and landings. Inside the airplane, passengers will find cleaner air, bigger windows, more stowage space and improved lighting.
Since the 787 launch in April 2004, 44 customers worldwide have logged 567 orders worth more than $75 billion at current list prices, making the Dreamliner the most successful commercial airplane launch in history.
The 777 family of airplanes is the market leader in the 300 to 400-seat segment, consistently capturing more than 65 percent of that market since its launch. To date, 52 customers worldwide have placed 952 orders for the efficient, reliable and passenger-pleasing 777 jetliner. Boeing continues to enhance the 777 family with the recent introduction of two new longer-range models and a freighter version currently in development.