Air France and Boeing have celebrated the 200th direct delivery of a Boeing jetliner, a 777-300ER, to the Paris-based airline. The French carrier has...

Air France and Boeing have celebrated the 200th direct delivery of a Boeing jetliner, a 777-300ER, to the Paris-based airline.

The French carrier has also taken delivery of dozens of other Boeing jets – many of which it still operates – from leasing companies.

“The 777 is the backbone of our long-haul fleet. This new aircraft will support Air France’s projected growth on long-haul destinations and confirm the Air France-KLM Group’s European leadership position on the international network. With this latest delivery, Air France continues to upgrade its fleet, one of the youngest in Europe, and launches its new business class seat,” says Bruno Matheu, chief commercial officer of Air France.

“The delivery of this 777-300ER, our 200th airplane delivered to Air France, is a tribute to the 777 and the long-term relationship between Air France and Boeing,” says Marlin Dailey, vice president of sales & marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

This Boeing-retouched shot shows Air France's 200th directly delivered Boeing jet, a 777-300ER, taking off on its delivery flight to Paris on December 8, 2010. Air France has also taken dozens of Boeing jets on lease from operating-lease companies over the years. The arline has a total of 43 777-300ERs in service and on order, as well as 25 777-200ERs and two 777-200Fs

Air France’s new 777-300ER has 383 seats, including 42 business class lie-flat seat beds measuring more than 78.74 inches (2 m) in length, plus an in-seat entertainment system with 15-inch (38 cm) wide screens in 16:9 high-definition format. Air France is a member of the SkyTeam alliance and will operate this 777-300ER between Paris and Montreal. In January 2011, the aircraft will also be operated on the new direct route between Paris and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Air France’s first Boeing jet, a 707, was delivered to the carrier in 1959 and the airline has . The airline also has operated 727-200s, 737-200s, 737-300s and 737-500s as well as 767-300ERs and the airline ordered its first 747s in 1966. Air France has operated 747-100s, 747-200Bs, 747-200Fs, 747-300s, 747-400s and 747-400Fs. The airline first ordered 777-200ERs in 1996 and was a launch customer for the 777-300ER in 2000 and for the 777 Freighter in 2005.

For the 2011 summer season, Air France will be operating a total of 61 Boeing 777s, making it one of the largest operators of 777s in the world. The airline also operates two 777 Freighters and 12 747s. Boeing is scheduled to deliver to Air France one 777 Freighter in 2011 and 11 additional 777-300ERs through 2015.

According to Boeing, the 777-300ER is 19 per cent lighter than its closest competitor (the slow-selling Airbus A340-600), greatly reducing its fuel requirement. It produces 22 per cent less carbon dioxide per seat and costs 20 per cent less to operate per seat tha the A340-600, Boeing claims. The aircraft has a maximum range of 7,930 nautical miles (14,685 km). A total of 61 customers around the world have ordered more than 1,100 777s.

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