Air Canada signs $6 billion order

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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 Canada 's 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," added Milton.

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 and the newly announced 777 Freighter. Air Canada 's new 777 deliveries will begin in 2007.

The order also includes 14 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.

Air Canada is the 25th airline to select the 787 Dreamliner, bringing the total number of announced firm orders and commitments to 309.