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Oman Air orders 6 Boeing 787 planes at Dubai show

Oman Air orders 6 Boeing 787 planes at Dubai show

Boeing on Monday snagged a new Mideast customer for its much-hyped 787 Dreamliner at the Dubai Airshow, a day after it signed a record-breaking deal for 50 wide-body planes.

» Airlines - W | Friday, November 18, 2011 • Air News Times
Oman Air and Boeing Co. said the carrier has ordered six Boeing 787-8 aircraft, though the planes won't translate into additional business for the Chicago-based plane maker. That's because Oman Air is taking over orders previously placed by Kuwait-based aircraft leasing company ALAFCO.

No one at ALAFCO was immediately available to comment on the deal, and it wasn't clear why it transferred the orders.
Oman and Boeing didn't provide financial terms of the order. Each 787-8 costs $193.5 million at list prices, though airlines often try to negotiate discounts.

"Our decision to order the 787-8 is part of Oman Air's long-term growth strategy to expand and modernize our fleet with newer, more fuel-efficient airplanes," airline CEO Peter Hill said in a statement.

Japan's All Nippon Airways operated the first commercial flight of the 787 late last month following a series of manufacturing delays. The cutting-edge plane is made of lightweight composite materials and is attractive to airlines because it promises to be 20% more fuel-efficient than similar planes.

Long lines of curious spectators have lined up in Dubai to step aboard a 787 display model, which is making its debut at the Mideast airshow.

Oman Air is the flagship carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, which sits on the southestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. The airline, set up in 1993, is far smaller than Gulf behemoths such as Dubai's Emirates and Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways is among the regional carriers that have already signed up for the Dreamliner. It has ordered 30 of the planes and has options for 30 more. The carrier is expected to announce additional aircraft orders at this week's show.

Its Dubai-based rival Emirates, the region's biggest carrier, on Sunday placed an unexpectedly large order for 50 more Boeing 777s, signaling it remains optimistic about its ambitious growth plans despite the shake global economy. Boeing said he deal, worth $18 billion at list prices, was its biggest-ever single order in by value.

Gulf airlines have boomed in recent years by funneling travelers from far-flung global destinations through hubs such as Dubai and the Qatari capital Doha.

European plane manufacturer Airbus predicts the Middle East will require some 1,920 new planes worth more than $347 billion through 2030, according to a forecast released Monday.
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