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Air Canada locks in Boeing order

Air Canada has signed a
contract with Boeing to upgrade the airline’s fleet with up to 36
Boeing 777s and 60 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.The conclusion of the order
comes six months after the airline announced a widebody fleet renewal
plan, subject to a number of conditions.

“We’re extremely pleased to move forward with the renewal of Air
widebody fleet with these new Boeing airplanes,” said Robert
Milton, president and chief executive officer of ACE Aviation Holdings
Inc., Air Canada’s parent company. “Our analysis of these aircraft
confirmed overwhelmingly attractive economics; we estimate the fuel
burn and maintenance cost savings alone on the 787 to be approximately
30 per cent versus the 767s they will replace. This is particularly
important in the current high-fuel-price environment.”

As with the previous agreement, announced in April, the new contract
with Air Canada includes firm orders for 18 777s, plus purchase rights
for 18 more, in a yet-to-be-determined mix of the 777 family’s newest
models: the 777-300ER, the 777-200LR Worldliner (the longest-range
airplane in the world) and the newly announced 777 Freighter. Air
Canada’s new 777 deliveries will begin in 2007.

The order also includes 14 ultra-efficient new Boeing 787 Dreamliners,
plus options and purchase rights for an additional 46 airplanes. Air
Canada’s first 787 will be delivered in 2010. The firm orders in the
agreement are valued at approximately $6 billion at list prices.

“Our 777s and 787s are uniquely suited to meet Air Canada’s current
route structure and growth plans for long-range, nonstop routes for
both passengers and cargo,” said Alan Mulally, president and CEO of
Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Operating modern and comfortable 777s and
787s in the same fleet will allow Air Canada to tailor capacity to
seasonal demand with two aircraft types that fly the same speed and
range, yet offer different seating and cargo capacities.”