ALTA: Avianca expects first 787 in October 2014

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Colombia's Avianca is to receive its first Boeing 787-8 in October 2014.

The Star Alliance carrier expects to add four 787s to its fleet in 2014, and will end the year with three 787s in operation, Avianca chief executive Fabio Villegas tells Flightglobal Pro.

In 2015, Bogota-based Avianca will receive another three or four 787s, he adds.

The airline has a total 15 787s in Boeing's backlog, after converting three options in 2012.

Avianca has said it plans to operate the 787s to European destinations such as London and Frankfurt.

Villegas denies recent reports that the airline is in the market for new regional aircraft. He points out that Avianca is already replacing its Fokker 50s with new ATR 72-600s. The carrier previously phased out its Fokker 100s, replacing them with 10 Airbus A318s formerly operated by now defunct Mexicana.

"Those [the A318s] are going to stay with us for some years," says Villegas. Each of the jets entered service in 2004 or 2005, Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows.

"We don't think we will need more aircraft in the 100-seat segment," says Villegas.