Air Canada increases Dreamliner order

Air Canada has exercised existing options and purchase rights for 23 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, bringing its total firm orders for the aircraft to 37 from the 14 originally announced, with deliveries starting in 2010.“As we take delivery of new, fuel efficient aircraft, we are removing older aircraft from the fleet to create one of the youngest, most efficient, customer-friendly fleets in the world,” said Montie Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Air Canada. “The Boeing 787 aircraft features better operational performance in terms of speed and flight range, providing us with the ability to serve new markets that could not be previously served in an efficient manner. With new Boeing and Embraer aircraft entering the fleet, we will continue with our overall strategy of matching capacity with demand, which has produced more than three consecutive years of record breaking load factors.”

The revised agreement includes options for 23 Boeing 787 aircraft for a total of up to 60 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. At the same time, Air Canada has reduced its original Boeing 777 firm order and the related capital commitment by two aircraft which were due to be delivered in 2009. The carrier is scheduled to take delivery of a total of 16 Boeing 777s, in addition to one leased from International Lease Finance Corporation, by the end of 2008. Air Canada received its first Boeing 777 on March 30.

Air Canada’s major fleet renewal program will see the carrier’s existing Airbus A340 and A330 and Boeing 767-300 and 767-200 aircraft replaced by modern, fuel efficient and more customer friendly aircraft. The revised order will enable the replacement of substantially all of the carrier’s B767 leased aircraft at the time of the expiry of the aircraft’s operating leases. The carrier estimates fuel usage and maintenance costs for a Boeing 787 aircraft to be approximately 30% less than that of a Boeing 767-300.

Air Canada continues to make progress on subleasing and/or returning leased aircraft considered redundant to its fleet requirements and the airline expects to meet its target to remove from service approximately 23 aircraft in 2007, including eight wide-body and 15 narrow-body aircraft.

Air Canada has also confirmed that the Export-Import Bank of the United States has provided the airline with a Final Commitment for loan guarantees for seven Boeing 777 aircraft which will be delivered in 2007 and a Preliminary Commitment covering the remaining Boeing 777 aircraft which will be delivered in 2008 and 14 Boeing 787 aircraft which will be delivered in 2010 and 2011.