All Nippon Airways (ANA) is to announce orders for nine additional Boeing 767-300ERs and five more 777-300s at the Farnborough air show on 23 July. The US manufacturer appears keen to play down the deal, however, having previously incorporated all 14 widebodies into its order backlog, and wants to avoid any accusation from rival Airbus of regurgitating past orders.

The Japanese carrier is understood to have insisted on the order being formally announced at the show. Boeing added the nine additional 767-300ERs to its orderbook in March last year before the deal was given airline board approval, says a source. The General Electric CF6-80C2B6F-powered twinjets replace the airline's remaining older 767-200s and are in addition to 42 -300/300ERs previously ordered.

ANA's five additional 777-300s are believed to be part of an earlier deal and the carrier's total orderbook for the type remains unchanged at 35 aircraft, of which 21 have been delivered. The five Pratt & Whitney PW4090-powered aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2004 and 2006 and will supplement five -300s it already operates. ANA in addition operates 12 777-200s and four -200ERs. Six GE90-powered 777-300ERs are on order.

There have been discussions about converting ANA's 777-300 to a single class, seating over 500 passengers on Japan's busy routes between Tokyo, Sapporo and Osaka. The move appears to be designed to forestall an order from a Japanese carrier for the Airbus A380. Both ANA and Japan Airlines are looking at the 550-seater, but sources say they are more interested in a domestic version as they are concerned they might not be able to fill international routes.

Airbus and Boeing are hoping to announce this week an order from UK low-cost carrier EasyJet for up to 120 narrowbody aircraft - either A319/A320s or 737-700s.

Source: Flight International