IAG places $4bn firm order for long-haul 787 Dreamliners
UK-based International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) has placed a $4bn firm order with Boeing for 18 long-haul 787 Dreamliner jets, which will be used to replace British Airways' current fleet of 747-400s between 2017 and 2021.
The firm order, which is subject to approval by IAG shareholders, builds on the British Airways' existing order for 24 Dreamliners, with the first airliner expected to be delivered later this year.
The order is the second since Boeing grounded its global fleet of 787s in mid-January because of lithium-ion battery problems.
British Airways' 787s will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines and the engine order includes a comprehensive maintenance package with total care agreement.
IAG chief executive officer Willie Walsh said the British Airways has 24 Boeing 787s on order already and the company plans to boost this by a further 18 aircraft by exercising its options.
"The aircraft offers a step change in fuel burn efficiency versus our existing aircraft with improvements in fuel cost per seat of more than 20%," he said. "New technology engines and improved aerodynamics will lower fuel burn leading to reduced carbon and NOx emissions."
IAG has also entered into an agreement with Boeing to secure commercial terms and delivery slots that could result in a firm order for 787s, which will be used by its sister carrier Iberia.
The firm orders will only be made when Iberia reduces its cost base and is in a position to grow profits.
Founded in 2011, IAG was formed by the merger of British Airways with Spain's Iberia.
Currently, British Airways has 118 wide-bodied long-haul jetliners in its fleet with 42 aircraft ordered comprising 12 A380s, 24 B787s, six B777-300ERs, while Iberia has 31 wide-bodied long-haul aircraft in its fleet with six A330 already on order.
Image: A Boeing 787 in British Airways' livery. Photo: courtesy of British Airways.