Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Boeing's Ihssane Mounir closes the year with an order for 787 Dreamliners

Boeing said Wednesday that Royal Air Maroc, Morocco's flagship airline, has ordered two new 787-9 Dreamliners worth more than $500 million at list prices.

Boeing and the Casablanca-based airline also disclosed an earlier order for two more 787s. That December 2016 order was previously reported as placed by an "unidentified buyer."

The airline picked GE engines for its two latest Dreamliners over rival offerings from Rolls-Royce. No details were provided about delivery dates.

The two orders mean Royal Air Maroc will grow its Dreamliner fleet to nine airplanes. It currently operates five 787-8s.

Royal Air Maroc Chairman and CEO Abdelhamid Addou said the four widebodies will help his airline expand its international service and have "the broadest presence across the African continent of any airline."

"Our vision is to be the leading airline in Africa in terms of quality of service, quality of planes and connectivity," Addou said. "Ordering new-generation planes such as the Dreamliner puts our airline on the right track to fulfill our vision."

Ihssane Mounir, Boeing Commercial Airplanes' top airplane salesman, celebrated the deal with a personal connection. He was born in Morocco and still has family in the country.

"Royal Air Maroc's additional 787 orders are a terrific endorsement of the Dreamliner's economic performance, fuel efficiency and unrivaled passenger experience," Mounir said in a news release.

Mounir said Boeing is proud to support Royal Air Maroc's expansion plans. Royal Air Maroc, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, operates more than 56 Boeing airplanes, including 737s, 767-300ERs, 787s and a 747-400. The airline serves more than 80 destinations across Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North America and South America.

Boeing also supports the development of Morocco's aerospace industry and workforce. The Chicago-based jet maker and Safran are joint venture partners in Morocco Aero-Technical Interconnect Systems (MATIS) Aerospace in Casablanca, a supplier that employs more than 1,000 people building wire bundles and wire harnesses for Boeing and other aerospace companies.

The new 787 orders builds Boeing's Dreamliner backlog and helps support the company's decision to increase production of Dreamliners to 14 a month from 12.

(Andrew McIntosh - Puget Sound Business Journal)

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