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April 25, 2005    

Air Canada buys into Boeing

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by Brian Turner
Canadian Airlines returns to Boeing

U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing pulled off a significant victory over its European rival Airbus when it scored an order for 32 wide-body planes, including 14 787s, from Air Canada.

This is a turnaround for the Canadian airline, which had previously replaced its whole Boeing fleet with Airbuses and Bombadier CRJ regional jets.

Air Canada’s chief executive said Monday that the 787 would be the more economical aircraft, saving about 30 percent in fuel efficiency and costs for maintenance compared to the 767s currently in use.

Air Canada will buy 14 787s and 18 777s from Boeing, for a total of around $6 billion. Deliveries of the 777s will begin next year and the 787s will be delivered beginning in 2010. Air Canada also took options for 46 additional 787s and 18 777s.

With 217 total orders and commitments for the 787, Boeing’s shares advanced nearly 3 percent to $59.50 in early trading on Monday.

Air Canada has seen rapid expansion of its Asian and Latin American routes due to passenger preference to fly into Toronto and Vancouver when traveling between Asia and the Latin American countries since U.S. visa and security restrictions have tightened.

The airline recently announced plans for daily non-stop flights to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

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