Egyptair has ordered three high gross-weight Boeing 777-200s, expanding the US airframe builder's firm orderbook to 167. At the same time, however, Boeing predicts that its 1996 deliveries will fall for the fourth consecutive year.

The predicted 1996 delivery tally of 210, compared with 235 for 1995, was foreshadowed in early July when the company announced plans to cut narrowbody production rates from mid-1996 onwards (Flight International, 12-18 July).

The dip reflects the time-lag of order cancellations in 1993/4 and is expected to be followed by a steady climb from 1997 as orders for the next-generation 737 family and 777 take effect.

To underline the impact of the recent recession, 1996 deliveries will reach less than half the total achieved during Boeing's record year in 1992. In that year, 441 were delivered.

Deliveries in 1997 will be swelled by the hand-over of the first aircraft from Egyptair's $400 million order. The Cairo-based carrier has opted for a tri-class 308 passenger seating arrangement. Egyptair recently ordered three Airbus A340s.

Boeing has denied recent reports that it has signed a deal for 15 777s worth $1.9 billion with Air China. "We don't know where that came from. We are still negotiating with them, as is Airbus," says the company.

Meanwhile the first 777-200 for All Nippon Airways (ANA) is expected to make its maiden flight on 31 August.

The aircraft is due to be delivered to ANA in early October. British Airways, the second airline after United Airlines to take the 777 and the first to have the General Electric GE90-powered version, is expected to have its first 777 delivered around 28/29 September.

Source: Flight International