Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) has converted an order for a single Boeing 777-200 and three 777-300s to four longer-range 777-200ERs as part of its newly unveiled restructuring plan.

ANA spokeswoman Kate Opekar says from Tokyo that the first of the new aircraft will be delivered in October and put into service in November this year. She says the decision to convert the order came "as part of our efforts to maximise fleet utilisation".

Opekar adds that because the -200ER "is slightly smaller in terms of seat capacity than other long-range aircraft, it may be more suitable for some routes being operated by Boeing 747s at the present time".

She is not able to specify on which routes the aircraft may be switched with larger 747s, but does say that the -200ERs "will at first be put onto routes to China and across Asia, although they may be introduced onto long-haul routes to Europe and North America later on".

The four aircraft are to be powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4090 engines that are also being used by ANA on its five -300s. The aircraft have been operated on domestic trunk routes in a two-class configuration to maximise economy class capacity since July 1998.

The carrier also operates 12 -200s with two classes for domestic routes and three for international routes.

Of the four new -200ERs, one will have two classes with 291 seats while the rest will be fitted with three-class configurations each seating 234 passengers.

Source: Flight Daily News