Sunday, December 2, 2012

► IRAQ: Air Austral's unwanted Boeing 777-200LR finds a home with Iraqi Airways.

Air Austral
Respite has come to Réunion-based carrier Air Austral (UU) who, at last, have found a solution to the nagging problem of an unwanted Boeing 777-200LR (MSN 40993 | F-OLRB) that has been sitting idle in Seattle, awaiting delivery. Unable to pay for the aircraft, Air Austral have now been able to find a willing buyer in the form of the Iraqi Government who will then lease the aircraft out to Iraqi Airways (IA).

French aviation site Air Journal reports that the sale to Iraq is part of a deal with Boeing worth USD139 million (at list price, a B777-200 LR costs USD 291million).

Air Austral's second Boeing 777-29M(LR) in Seattle, USA
Air Austral's second Boeing 777-29M(LR) sitting in Seattle (paineairport)
Air Austral, in July 2010, announced it had ordered two Boeing Long Range 777-200LR in a deal valued at USD501million. 

However, following serious financial woes and a subsequent shake up of its management which saw former Air France and SkyTeam executive Marie-Joseph Malé replace Air Austral founder and CEO Gerard Ethève, the carrier chose instead to cancel the delivery of the sole remaining 777, for which it had already paid USD70million (or 27% of the list price), having taken delivery of the other (MSN 40955 | F-OLRA) last year.