Boeing [NYSE: BA] and London-based British Airways have finalized an order for eight Boeing 787-8s and 16 787-9s, raising the total number of 787s ordered worldwide from 766 to 790 and taking the 787 order book past the 787th mark. The order is valued at $4.4 billion at list prices. British Airways also placed options for 18 787s and purchase rights for an additional 10.
Willie Walsh, British Airways' chief executive, said, "The 787 is a fantastic aircraft and will be a welcome addition to our fleet. It will provide major environmental improvements in terms of global emissions, local air quality and noise.
"With lower operating costs and the range to fly to all our destinations, it will give us more flexibility when planning our route network and we are confident that our customers will enjoy flying on the aircraft," Walsh said.
British Airways first announced its selection of the 787 Dreamliner as a key element of its long-haul fleet renewal last September. The carrier also announced in September that it will power its 787s with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000.
"This order is a vote of confidence from one of the world's leading global network carriers in the 787's unprecedented performance," said Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales for Europe, Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "No other airplane in its category offers British Airways the superior efficiency, economics and passenger comfort while also fitting so easily into its medium- and long-haul twin-aisle fleet."
"Reaching the 787th order is significant for the program, and it's great that we get to celebrate it with British Airways. Their leadership in the industry validates our momentum in the marketplace," said Patrick Shanahan, vice president and general manager, 787 Program.
The 787 will help British Airways meet aggressive environmental performance targets. It will reduce CO2 emissions and has a noise footprint that is more than 60 percent smaller than those of today's similarly sized airplanes.
Common elements between the 787 and British Airways' 777 flight deck will allow for 777 pilots to train for 787 certification in only five days.
The 787 also offers more cargo-revenue capacity than the 767 and similarly sized airplanes.
With 790 orders in three years, the 787 remains the most successful airplane launch in aviation history.
Boeing developed the 787 for the mid-sized jetliner market, estimated at 3,500 aircraft over the next 20 years. The 787 will be more than 50 percent advanced carbon composites which allow the largest windows in the industry, higher cabin humidity and a lower cabin altitude that reduces the fatigue often experienced by passengers.
High-efficiency engines combined with a lighter airframe and improved aerodynamics mean the 787 will produce seat-mile costs normally associated with much larger aircraft.