Air Pacific yet to pick engines as A330s replace 787 order

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Fijian operator Air Pacific has yet to select an engine type for its new Airbus A330-200s, for which it opted after dumping its Boeing 787 order earlier this year.

Air Pacific had previously ordered eight 787-9s and the twinjets had been due to be equipped with General Electric GEnx powerplants.

The A330s, which are scheduled for delivery in 2013, will replace the carrier's Boeing 747-400 and 767-300ER aircraft, which are fitted with a mix of Pratt & Whitney and General Electric engines.

Air Pacific said the acquisition would be its first purchase of new widebodies.

The carrier added that its fleet review team started work 17 months ago, aiming to find and finance new aircraft that could begin operating by March 2013. It said the effort included a seven-month review of the fleet and network.

Boeing listed the Air Pacific 787s - originally ordered in 2006, with an initial 2011 delivery date - as having been cancelled in its April backlog update.

"Our exhaustive evaluation proved not only that the A330-200 was the best [aircraft] for Air Pacific but also that the features and capabilities of thies new [jet] will complement our world-renowned customer service," said the carrier's chief, David Pflieger.

Air Pacific originally ordered its 787s in 2006, and had given an initial delivery date of 2011. Airbus specifically highlighted in a statement confirming that A330 deal that the carrier had previously evaluated the 787.

"We fully expect our new A330s to significantly help us cut costs and increase revenue," said Pflieger. He said they would be fitted with "the latest in cabin seats and in-flight entertainment", and operate on routes to Sydney, Auckland, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.