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KLM Gives Boeing a Widebody Boost


Boeing has revealed that KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has ordered an additional two 777-300ERs. The Schiphol-based firm had previously been listed as an unidentified customer. The acquisition takes the Dutch flag carrier’s 777 fleet to 31 examples, including 16 of the larger 300ER variant.

The two airliners – c/n 66888 and 66889 – are expected to be registered PH-BVV and PH-BVW when delivered. They will likely be fitted with the same three-class, 408-seat interior which has been rolled out across the 14 examples handed over to the carrier between February 2008 and September 2017. The cabin includes seating for 34 World Business Class, 40 Economy Comfort and 334 Economy Class Passengers.

The order is valued at $751m at current list prices, however, it is likely that the manufacturer has offered the carrier significant discounts as it intends to increase production from three-and-a-half to five aircraft per month from next year.

Boeing is also facing delays to the 777X programme, following operational issues with the type’s General Electric GE9X powerplant. In June, it postponed the first flight of the larger 777-9 until 2020, before placing the development of the 777-8 on hold last month. The Seattle-based company has not indicated how long it plans to defer the smaller, longer range variant for.

While 737 MAX airliners continue to roll off the production line, Boeing does not want to build and store 777Xs due to space limitations at its Paine Field site – 22 examples of the grounded single-aisle jet are mothballed at the facility awaiting the type’s recertification. Currently, five 777-9s, comprising four flight test vehicles and the first for Emirates, have been constructed.

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