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TUI Travel to cancel 10 787s

TUI Travel is to cancel 10 of the 23 Boeing 787s which the tour operator has on order, but plans to add purchase rights for another 13.

The company became one of the first European customers for the jet when First Choice Airways - with which TUI subsequently merged - committed to the type in 2004.

First Choice firmed an initial order for six 787s in 2005, and became the launch customer for the General Electric GENx engine on the twin-jet.

It had firmed another six options by March 2007, when the merger with TUI was unveiled.

These were combined with a previously-undisclosed 787 order from TUI giving the combined company, TUI Travel, a total of 23 of the jets.

But in a trading update today TUI Travel says: "We have been in extensive discussions with Boeing...and it is the intention of both parties to agree to cancel 10 of the 23 787 aircraft that we had on order."

It says it will add purchase rights, with no obligation, for a further 13 787s. "This optimises the flexibility around our long-haul capacity and we expect to receive delivery of the first 787 aircraft in early 2012," it adds.

TUI Travel also insists that, despite the decision, the 787 is the "ideal aircraft" for its long-haul requirements.

"Not only will it be able to fly greater distances than equivalent aircraft today but it will do so with greater fuel efficiency and additional comfort for our customers," it says.

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