Boeing has delivered Réunion Island-based Air Austral’s first Boeing 777-200LR to the airline, at a ceremony held at the manufacturer’s widebody final-assembly plant at Everett, Washington.
As one of the newest members of the 777 family, the ultra-long-range Boeing 777-200LR has the capability to connect virtually any two cities in the world by a non-stop flight. Air Austral’s first 777-200LR will enable the airline to fly non-stop from Mayotte, an island chain and French Department north of Madagascar, to Paris.
“Boeing’s 777-200LR will provide exceptional value to our airline,” says Gérard Ethève, Air Austral’s president and CEO. “The airplane has superior take-off capabilities including take-offs from short runways with maximum payload. We are confident that the addition of the 777-200LR to Air Austral’s fleet will result in improved operating economics and increased efficiencies as well as optimize customer satisfaction. Its commonality with the 777-300ER is a great advantage in terms of managing operating and service costs.”
Air Austral currently operates a fleet of six 777-300ERs and 777-200ERs. With this delivery, Air Austral becomes the second carrier in Africa and the Indian Ocean (after Ethiopian Airlines) to take delivery of a 777-200LR. The Réunion-based carrier has two 777-200LRs on order.
Boeing says the Boeing 777-200LR can fly farther than any other airliner, while carrying a full passenger and cargo load, on routes where other aircraft are payload-limited.