This month, Spain’s Air Europa celebrated its five-year anniversary of flying a Boeing 787 Dreamliner between Europe and Latin America. On March 16, 2016, a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner completed a nonstop 4,128 miles (6,643 kilometers) journey from Boeings’ final assembly and delivery facility in North Charleston, South Carolina.
When the aircraft touched down at Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD), Air Europa became the long-haul jet’s first Spanish operator. Air Europa secured the aircraft on lease from global aircraft leasing company SMBC Aviation Capital. Today, registration EC-MIG is parked at Ciudad Real International Airport (CQM) as Air Europa, and other airlines wait for the aviation industry to recover following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Air Europa was excited to receive its first 787
Back in 2016, when the world had never heard of COVID-19 and how it would change our lives, Air Europa was ecstatic about receiving its first 787 Dreamliner. When commenting in a statement from Boeing, the boss of Air Europas’ parent company Globila Juan José Hidalgo said:
“Today’s delivery begins a new chapter in Air Europa’s story. The state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliner will provide us with significant operational advantages as we aim to expand our footprint around the globe.
“Additionally, it is an airplane that will offer our passengers an unrivaled onboard experience and arrive at their holiday destination feeling refreshed.”
Focused on building a more fuel-efficient aircraft than the Boeing 767, the Chicago-headquartered aircraft manufacturer launched the 787 program in 2004 after receiving an order from All Nippon Airlines (ANA). The first Boeing 787 was delivered to ANA in September of 2011 and entered service with ANA a month later.
Air Europa choose the 787 to replace its A330s
Air Europa chose the Boeing 787 to replace its fleet of Airbus A330s as it would burn 20 to 25 percent less fuel while at the same time being more environmentally friendly than the aircraft it was replacing.
“We are honored to deliver the first 787 Dreamliner to our partners at Air Europa,” said Ray Conner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO. “This airplane is a great addition to its fleet and provides the capability to grow its long-haul network to the Americas and beyond while offering superior passenger comfort.”
Air Europa first announced its order for 14 787-9 Dreamliners in 2015, and now according to the aviation enthusiast website, Planspotters.net has a fleet of 18 Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 aircraft.
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IAG purchase to be completed late 2021
In other Air Europa news, IAG chief executive Luis Gallego said that he expects to complete the deal to acquire Air Europa to be completed towards the end of 2021. IAG, which also owns the Spanish national flag carrier Iberia, struck a deal to buy Air Europa in 2019 before the current medical emergency changed the circumstances. IAG revised the initial deal allowing the London-headquartered multinational airline holding company to purchase Air Europa for €500 million, half of what it was prepared to pay before the pandemic.
When speaking about when the deal will now be completed, aviation website FlightGlobal quotes Gallego as saying:
”Air Europa had support from the government, and that support had a bad condition. So, first of all, we need to negotiate with the Spanish government these bad conditions because we need to have the freedom to manage the company. After that agreement we hope we can reach, we will need competition approval.”
Have you ever flown on an Air Europa 787 Dreamliner? If so, we would love to hear what you think of Air Europa and their 787s in the comments.