Japan Airlines (JAL) is trading its fleet of 10 Boeing MD-11s back to the US manufacturer as part of a deal for two additional 767-300ERs and eight 777-200ERs.

The newly ordered aircraft will be delivered between March 2003 and March 2005, replacing ten Pratt & Whitney PW4000-powered MD-11s which will leave JAL's fleet between the airline's 2002 and 2004 financial years.

The airline says the replacement of the MD-11s by the new aircraft will help the JAL Group improve cashflow by about ¥10 billion ($92 million) annually.

The MD-11s are expected to go to Boeing for conversion to freighters by the company's Airplane Services arm, with United Parcel Service (UPS) the most likely end user. The US express package carrier recently concluded a deal for 13 MD-11Fs, plus 22 options for delivery from next year.

Flight International's sister on-line service, Air Transport Intelligence, reports that four MD-11s will leave JAL's in the 2002 fiscal year, followed by three in FY2003 and the final three FY2004.

Deliveries of the two 767s on order will take place between 2002 and 2003, while the eight Pratt & Whitney PW4000-powered 777s will arrive in FY2002 (two), and three each in FY2004 and FY2005.

• Vietnam Airlines has signed a letter of intent with Boeing for up to three 777-200ERs.

Source: Flight International