EgyptAir Rumored To Be Ordering 6 Boeing 787s

Filed Under: EgyptAir

Boeing has been on a roll lately with their 787, as over the past few weeks we’ve learned about Malaysia and Turkish ordering a significant number of 787s. Well, there are now rumors of another airline being very close to ordering the 787. The Post and Courier reports about EgyptAir’s board of directors has allegedly approved a deal for the purchase of six Boeing 787-9s, and that an official announcement could come as early as later this week.

On top of that, EgyptAir also apparently plans to buy some A320neo aircraft, though details on that are limited as of now. That’s an interesting move, as the airline has otherwise been moving towards the 737 over the A320, but I guess over time things can change.

In terms of their ultra longhaul fleet, EgyptAir presently has six Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which are leased. Presumably the purpose of the 787-9s would be to replace the 777-300ERs — the 787 is more fuel efficient and slightly lower capacity, so would hopefully allow EgyptAir to improve yields somewhat.

EgyptAir 777-300ER

On top of that, EgyptAir has a fleet of 10 A330s, which they also use for longhaul flights.

Here’s to hoping this deal is announced soon, as it would be great to see EgyptAir take delivery of some new planes. I had a pleasant flight on EgyptAir earlier this year from Toronto to Cairo. While their business class isn’t fully flat and features seven seats per row, I still found the seats to be fairly comfortable.

EgyptAir 777-300ER business class

Hopefully new 787s would encourage the airline to get a new business class product as well. EgyptAir pretty consistently has great business class fares, so I’d love to fly EgyptAir again on their 787. But now I’m just getting ahead of myself, because we don’t even have a sense of when EgyptAir will potentially take delivery of these planes, or for that matter know for sure if this is happening.

What do you make of EgyptAir placing a 787 order?

  1. @Lucky

    Do you know of any reason why the 787 seems to be doing so well recently?

    I know that the capacity is a bit lower, and that fleet makeup and price negotiations add complexity to decisions over orders, but I can’t think of any concrete advantage it has over the A350

  2. @SC – I am trying to find the source, but I have read that operational history (let’s not discuss initial problems) from many airlines have shown it to outperform in terms of efficiency and cost of maintenance, especially due to the use of servo electronics which are highly efficient and and reduce maintenance costs significantly. In terms of technology, it is the most advanced aircraft out there.

    I enjoy the atmosphere on the A350 slightly more (the roominess perhaps?), but the 787 leaves me in awe due to all of the technical advancements. Another reason is the GenX engine, which is reputedly the most fuel-efficient and meets the most stringent emissions. If I can retrace that report I will provide a link.

  3. As a paying punter I much prefer the A350 over the B787.

    Doesn’t Airbus have a massive order book compounded with delivery delays (Qatar’s CEO threw a hissy at them a few weeks back for late deliveries of A350s)?

  4. Just some sources to add to my previous statements (yes – I love reading about aircraft).

    787 just fits a more diverse market as well due to a good balance of seating (< 300) and range. It also offers a preference of engines and lower capital costs and maintenance costs.

  5. like Turkish and Malaysia, Egyptair is another government-controlled carrier in a semi authoritarian state that wants to curry favor with Trump. I would not be surprised if political considerations are again playing a role here if it ends up happening.

  6. @cc you are definitely right here, Turkey ordered from Boeing because they have a closer relationship with the United States at the moment than with Europe. And why wouldn’t they? Turkey wants an EU membership since the beginning of time, or at least Visa free travel for its citizens, but Europe is holding back for ages, why place a billion dollar deal with Europe for 40 airplanes if you can choose a different (better?) option.

  7. 789 costs less per trip than 359 and has an actual family of 3 aircraft. Bus has nothing in the lower end of the market after the disastrous 358 was cancelled. There have also been significant cancellations of the 350-100 and the 350 is rapidly becoming a point airplane centred on the 359. Lastly the 787 is a 100% composite fuselage whereas the 350 is composite panels hung on a metal frame. One byproduct is the significantly larger windows on the 787 which I appreciate as a passenger. I think the only order since the 77X was launched has been VS who (even though they deny it) “swapped out” their 388 order for the 350-1000.
    Interesting comment cc as Boeing always said the government owned carriers were skewed towards the Bus people while private carriers bought Boeing.

  8. @skedguy — the 789 only costs less per trip assuming one uses a 3-3-3 configuration. This benefit grows smaller when one finds that the 359 has both A) longer usable payload range (meaning it can carry a higher amount of people over longer distances without facing payload restrictions), B) that it has a larger cargo capacity (important for something like a 77W/330 replacement), C) type commonality with a larger sibling (the A350-1000).

    Although there were “significant” cancellations on the A350-1000, there are still over 200 orders for it (compared to 175 for the 787-10). Although they may be without the A350-800 in the family, the 359 and 3510 can cover the same market as the 777-200(ER/LR) and the 777-300(ER), with near identical seating capacities.

    This also fails to account for the fact that the 787-10 (a potential 77W replacement) is less capable of flying the 777-300ER routes that MS currently flies. As Tim Clark noted when talking to the Seattle Times, the 787-10 is underpowered when it comes to operating in the hot (hot!) conditions of DXB (and a similar issue occurs with CAI). Because of the A350 (both -900 and -1000)’s higher MTOW, it means that both aircraft can take off with fewer payload restrictions compared to the 787.

    This also doesn’t account for the fact that there is some (minor) similarity between the A350 and the A330 that are already operated. Despite the fact that the A350 has different cockpits, fuselage, engines, and wings, the internals (fuel pumps, hydraulics, APU, wiring, etc.) is mostly borrowed from the A330. This also means that the aircraft operates “conventionally,” making it easier to repair compared to the uncharted territory that the all-electric 787 offers.

    So yes, the 787 may have more technological innovation. Yes, it may offer superb engine efficiency and more composites. But when it comes to choosing an aircraft, both seem to be relatively equal. The 787 is better when it comes to overall innovation and efficiency, whereas the A350 pulls ahead when it comes to physical capability and, to a lesser extent, innovation over current types. Both can use what’s roughly the same engine (Trent 1000 versus Trent 1000XWB), and both are capable of taking over MS’ current route structure. So, really, it comes down to which aircraft will be offered for less.

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