Flight International online news 9:00GMT: Polish flag-carrier LOT has committed to renewing its long-haul fleet with the Boeing 787, opting to acquire seven of the baseline 787-8 and up to seven of the larger 787-9 after a prolonged contest.

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The aircraft will be equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, and be used to replace the airline’s Boeing 767 fleet.

Deliveries of the 787s are to begin in 2008. In the interim Boeing has agreed a bridging plan to guarantee LOT a number of Boeing 767 aircraft until the 787s arrive.

While Star Alliance member LOT, as a long-standing Boeing operator, had been tipped to take the 787 in preference to the rival Airbus A350, the formal decision has been awaited for several months.

Airbus had seen LOT as a potential European launch customer for the A350 and, as a new member of the European Union, Poland had faced strong lobbying from the French, German and UK Governments.

But Boeing has pushed equally hard to secure the LOT business.

The carrier will now turn its attention to renewal of its short-haul fleet.



Source: Flight International