Eastern carrier Oman Air has tentatively agreed to acquire six Boeing 787-8
aircraft from Kuwait’s Aviation Lease and Finance Company (ALAFCO), a month
after the lessor scrapped a
deal to supply the twin-jets to Kuwait Airways.
Air, which has signed a memorandum of understanding for the aircraft, is to
take the 787s in three batches beginning in 2012. The second batch will be
delivered in 2014 and the final aircraft will arrive in 2015.
spokesman for ALAFCO indicates that Oman Air will be taking the General
version of the 787. ALAFCO has 22 Boeing 787-8s on order, 12 of which are due
to be equipped with GEnx
had been intending to supply 12 787s to Kuwait Airways but this plan fell
through at the end of August after the Kuwaiti flag-carrier failed to obtain
the necessary Government approvals for the finance and lease of the aircraft.
spokesman for says that, owing to the situation, the lessor has opted to remarket the 787s. He says:
“Demand for this aircraft has been unprecedented.”
Air will lease the aircraft for a 12-year period. While the airline’s jet fleet
is entirely comprised of Boeing 737s, the Muscat-based carrier is venturing
back into long-haul operations and has been assessing various long-haul types.
787 decision, however, still comes as something of a surprise because –
although the 787 and Airbus A350 have featured in Oman Air’s fleet-renewal
studies – the airline has almost exclusively mentioned Airbus aircraft when
setting out its long-haul plans.
intends to use Airbus A330 and A310 jets to start long-haul services later this
year and Oman Air chief executive Ziad
Al-Haremi has openly spoken about acquiring a large fleet of Airbus A330s in
the period to 2011.
Air has yet to give more details about any plans for the 787s and it is unclear
when the memorandum of understanding will be firmed.