Boeing offers Azerbaijan Airlines' 787-8s for sale

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Boeing is offering for sale two 787-8s due for delivery to Azerbaijan Airlines in September and December of this year, say sources familiar with the situation.

In early April, the manufacturer issued a formal sales proposal for the General Electric GEnx-powered aircraft to airline customers and financiers, market sources indicate.

This is the second time the Central Asian carrier has amended its original order for three 787-8s, agreed in 2007. Azerbaijan scrapped one unit from the order total in 2008 in favour of a pair of 250-seat Boeing 767-300ERs.

A need for additional capacity beyond the 242-seat 787-8 could be the reason behind the carrier’s move, sources suggest.

Last year, Azerbaijan Airlines took delivery of two Rolls-Royce Trent 500-powered Airbus A340-500s fitted with 237 seats, from AJW Capital Partners.

A source raises the possibility that the 787-8s could end up on lease, rather than being sold, as they are being offered to potential suitors “late” in the delivery schedule.

“Azerbaijan’s decision comes very close to the delivery dates, so the aircraft are already equipped in the carrier’s specs,” he says. “This means there will be some additional costs for the new customer, so leasing could be a more appealing option.”

Neither Azerbaijan nor Boeing was available for comment at the time of press.