Azerbaijan Airlines has ordered eight 787-8 Dreamliners made by Boeing to support the growth of its long-haul fleet.
The airline and Boeing said in a news release that the efficient jets will enable the Central Asian carrier to profitably open new routes from Azerbaijan and boost capacity for inbound tourism.
Azerbaijan is on the northern border of Iran.
Leaders from both companies, including Jahangir Asgarov, president of Azerbaijan Airlines, and Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, celebrated the order at a signing ceremony last week at the airline's hub in Baku, according to the news relese. “The successful development of the country's civil aviation has become possible thanks to the continuous support and attention of the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev,” Asgarov said in the new release. “The signing of a contract with Boeing for the purchase of modern wide-body Boeing 787 Dreamliners is an important step in modernizing the fleet and increasing the level of AZAL air transportation.”
More than 85 customers around the world have placed orders for more than 1,600 787 Dreamliners, making the 787 the fastest selling twin-aisle airplane in history, the release said. Since 2011, buyers of the 787 have opened more than 350 new nonstop routes, crediting the plane’s efficiency, the release stated.
The Dreamliner program is based in North Charleston.
“The 787 has helped position Azerbaijan Airlines as the leading carrier across Central Asia, with the airplane's flexibility and capability opening Azerbaijan up to increased tourism and economic growth,” Deal said in the release. “For more than 20 years we have enjoyed a tremendous partnership with Azerbaijan Airlines and this order for Dreamliners is a testament to the strength of our product family and the relationship between our companies."
Built with lightweight composite materials and powered by advanced engines, the 787 Dreamliner can fly up to 20% more passengers while reducing fuel use and emissions by 25% compared to the airplanes it replaces, according to Boeing.
Azerbaijan Airlines is one of the largest carriers in Central Asia, serving 40 destinations across 25 countries, with a fleet that includes Boeing 757, 767 and 787 jets, the release said.