PeaceAir buys Jumbo jet

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 September 1998, 11:18 GMT]
PeaceAir, a fledgling Sri Lankan airline, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Boeing for the purchase of a 747-400 passenger jet, the aircraft manufacturer said in a press release Wednesday. The memorandum to acquire the "combi" version of the Jumbo jet was signed at the Farnborough Air Show currently being held in Britain.

The aircraft is expected to be delivered in December this year and to go into service in January 1999.

The approximate list price of a 747-400 is $180 million USD, Boeing confirmed, but did not say what PeaceAir had paid for its purchase.

"We are very pleased that the 747-400 Combi is the choice of PeaceAir to begin service between the nation of Sri Lanka and the world," noted Seddik Belyamani, BCAG vice president (South Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa).

"The airplane provides unique capabilities that will help PeaceAir attain the high standards of excellence that it has targeted" he added.

Gamini Wethasinghe, chairman of PeaceAir said "This airplane will enable PeaceAir to successfully launch our dream of promoting peace, harmony and joy through the interaction of the world's peoples", adding that the 747-400 "will be the perfect aircraft to meet our goals."

PeaceAir's new 747-400 Combi will be configured to carry 284 passengers, 16 in first class, 32 in upper-deck business class and 236 in economy. In addition, the airplane can carry seven pallets of cargo, with a capacity of up to 39 metric tons (86,000 pounds).

PeaceAir was formed six years ago to focus on flying religious travellers to places of worship and to promote tourism to Sri Lanka. The airline plans to operate flights between Colombo and Europe (primarily the Scandinavian and Baltic nations), Australasia and the United States, with service beginning January 13, 1999.

PeaceAir says it intends to donate 80 percent of its profits to charities to build hospitals and homes for retired persons in Sri Lanka and abroad.

 

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