Boeing and Continental Airlines have announced major steps in support of the airline’s growth, including its plans to purchase 10 7E7 Dreamliner airplanes. The companies signed an agreement calling for delivery of the 7E7-8s beginning in 2009. The 7E7 order is valued at approximately $1.3 billion at list prices. Boeing and Continental expect to formally complete the agreement early in 2005. Continental is the first major U.S. carrier to announce plans to acquire the technologically advanced and highly efficient airplane slated to enter service in 2008.
"The 7E7 is simply a game-changer," says Gordon Bethune, Continental Airlines’ chairman and chief executive officer. "It will position Continental for significant international growth from our New York and Houston hubs over the next decade." This agreement increases to 122 the number of customer-announced 7E7 orders since the program’s launch in April of 2004. Firm contracts are in place for 56 airplanes and negotiations continue with additional launch team customers worldwide.
"Continental is a bellwether addition to the 7E7 Launch Team," says Mike Bair, Boeing vice president and general manager of the 7E7 program. "Continental understands the superior operating economics, faster turnaround times, and lower maintenance costs of Boeing airplanes."
The other 7E7 Launch Team members are ANA, Air New Zealand, Europe’s Blue Panorama and First Choice, Primaris of the U.S. and Japan Airlines. "This order, plus the previously announced orders, demonstrate the Dreamliner’s unprecedented appeal for a wide range of airlines with distinct business models," Bair adds.
Under the terms of the agreement Continental also will lease eight Boeing 757-300s starting in 2005, and will accelerate the delivery of six Boeing 737-800s into 2006. The 757s will be delivered beginning in July.
"The 7E7 is the widebody of the future for Continental, and will provide the platform for our long-term international growth," says Larry Kellner, Continental’s president and COO. "Leasing these additional 757 and 737 aircraft will be another step in outdistancing our competitors in this rapidly changing environment."
With the 7E7 Dreamliner, Boeing continues its leadership and innovation with a largely composite airplane that burns 20 percent less fuel, provides airlines with up to 60 percent more cargo revenue capacity, and offers passengers a better flying experience. The 7E7 sets the standard for interior passenger comfort, allowing higher cabin humidity, lower atmospheric pressurization, wider seats and aisles, larger windows, and unmatched stowage capacity. For more information call Lori Gunter at (206) 931-5919 or Brian Walker at (206) 356-4606.
In addition, Spanish carrier Air Europa has signed a firm contract for three new Boeing 737-800 airplanes. The airplanes are part of Air Europa’s ongoing short- and medium-haul fleet renewal and expansion. The order is valued at $195 million at list prices. Deliveries will begin in January 2006.
"The Next-Generation 737 is our airplane of choice for short- and medium-range service," says Juan Jose Hidalgo, president, Globalia Corporacion Empresarial. "The 737-800 has proven itself time and again since entering our fleet over four years ago. Its reputation for reliability and economics is well-deserved. Boeing is and will remain our supplier over the long term."
Air Europa currently operates 25 737-800s and is preparing for delivery of two more early next year from a previous order. This year the airline took delivery of four new 737-800s. Founded in 1986, Air Europa is the air travel division of Globalia Corporacion. Since 1991, Air Europa has focused on becoming one of the leading airlines in Europe. Air Europa operates a fleet of 30 Boeing airplanes on a network that includes most of the Spanish territory. Its continuous expansion process has led the company to establish new European destinations such as Paris, Milan, Rome, and London, as well as transatlantic destinations. As part of an effort to provide more comfortable and global service to customers, Air Europa has signed collaboration agreements with Aeropostal, Air France, Air Luxor, Alitalia, Continental Airlines, KLM, Malev, Southern Winds, and Tunisair. For more information call Sandy Angers at (425) 965-9380.
Visit Boeing’s Web site at [www.boeing.com].