Pembroke has placed orders for 15 more Boeing 717-200s and taken a further 15 options, raising its total commitment for the 100-seater to 50 aircraft, of which half are firm orders.

The Irish lessor's plans for the follow-on order have been revealed exclusively by Flight International in September (1-7 September).

Dublin-based Pembroke is 50% owned by Rolls-Royce, parent of the 717's exclusive engine supplier, R-R Deutschland. The lessor will take delivery of its latest batch of BR715-powered twinjets between August 2000 and the third quarter of 2003.

The Pembroke deal takes the 717 orderbook to 130 aircraft on firm order, plus 130 options, says Boeing.

Deliveries of the 100-seater stand at six aircraft, all of which are with launch customer AirTran Airways.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group president Alan Mulally says the 717 is "17,000lb (7.7t) lighter that the Airbus A318 - the equivalent of 90 passengers and bags - and its trip costs are 10% lower".

Since it was launched, the heavier, but longer-range, A318 has outsold the 717, partly because of its commonality with other A320 family models.

Source: Flight International