Boeing has beaten Airbus to two key fleet re-equipment campaigns, winning deals for a total of 27 aircraft from Ethiopian Airlines and Aeromexico.

Ethiopian will take six 737-700s and six 767-300ERs over the next four years. The new aircraft will replace the African carrier's 737-200s and 767-200s. Six aircraft will be acquired through export credit guarantee lease arrangement, while the other six will be taken on operating lease.

A decision on engine supplier for the 767s is expected shortly. The airline says it has also taken options for a further eight aircraft, including five 737s and three 777s. "Phase-in of the aircraft will start within six to nine months," the airline says.

Airbus and Boeing have been fighting for the deal for several years, with Airbus offering the A319 and A330-200. The Ethiopian carrier was thought to favour the US manufacturer for fleet commonality reasons (Flight International, 14-20 August, 2001).

Meanwhile, Aeromexico has selected the 737-700 over the A320 to replace 15 McDonnell Douglas DC-9s, signing a deal for 15 aircraft. Deliveries will begin in August 2003 and conclude at the end of 2004.

The airline says that the deal includes an undisclosed number of 737-700 options, which could be exercised as part of the next phase of Aeromexico's fleet-renewal plan. The next phase will include the evaluation of potential Boeing MD-80 replacements, with more 737s a likely option because they would ensure fleet commonality.

Africa One took delivery of the first of two McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50s on 24 July for its regional operations. The acquisition allows the Entebbe, Uganda-based carrier to launch a daily service to Nairobi from mid-August.

Source: Flight International