Air Austral has confirmed it is the customer for two Boeing Long Range 777-200LR Worldliners previously listed on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website as being for an unidentified customer.
Boeing values the order at $501 million at average list prices.
Air Austral is a French airline based on the island nation of Réunion. Réunion is a vacation locale in the South Indian Ocean and is renowned by outdoor adventurers for its mountainous volcanic interior.
“The 777-200LR is the only wide-body airplane that can fly non-stop to Paris with a full payload from our short runway on the island of Mayotte,” says Gerard Etheve, Air Austral’s chairman and CEO. “Because we currently operate 777-200ERs, the introduction of the 777-200LR to our fleet is an easy transition offering the same award-winning passenger experience, while using the same air crews and common operational support systems.”
“Air Austral has a long experience with Boeing products,” says Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Its current fleet of two 777-300ERs, three 777-200ERs and two 737s consistently delivers superior economic value and schedule reliability.”
In addition to taking delivery of the two new 777-200LRs in mid-2011 and 2012, Air Austral will receive two new 737-800s at the end of 2010 and a third leased 777-300ER early next year. The long-range 777-200LRs will add performance and capacity to help Air Austral meets its growth objectives.
The 777-200LR Worldliner is the newest passenger version of the 777 with a range of 9,395 nautical miles (17,395 km). It can connect virtually any two cities in the world nonstop. As shown in the Air Austral example, the 777-200LR also claims the best performance on long routes originating from short runways.
Air Austral has also ordered two Airbus A380s and will be the first carrier to operate the super-jumbos in one-class, high-density configuration seating some 850 people. The airline also plans to use its A380 for its premier route to Paris.