Mongolian Airlines has indicated that it has secured the delivery of a Boeing 787-9, with the aircraft due to arrive on long-term lease in 2021. The widebody jet has been earmarked for the carrier’s first long-haul flights to the United States. The 787 is the flagship aircraft of Boeing and is often seen as a direct competitor to the Airbus A350.
Long haul ambitions for the 787-9
With the arrival of the 787-9, Mongolian Airlines (MIAT) plans to launch long haul services to the US. While details of this are still sketchy, the airline has indicated it is in the process of obtaining the necessary permissions to launch service when the Dreamliner arrives.
In terms of configuration for the 787-9, reports indicate that the jetliner will feature 313 seats. These will comprise 16 in business class, 21 in premium economy, and 276 in economy. While the carrier’s current business class on board its 767s offers a slightly odd 2-1-2 configuration with not-quite lie-flat seats, this low number of business class on the 787-9 offers an opportunity to step up their game.
In total, Mongolian Airlines currently operates two Boeing 767-300 aircraft, both of which they own outright. It also leases four Boeing 737-800s from ALC Blarney Aircraft, Avolon, Macquarie AirFinance, and Wings Capital Partners, according to CH-Aviation. The airline also has four 737 MAX 8s on order, one of which was delivered earlier this year but is currently grounded.
MIAT is the national carrier of Mongolia, headquartered in the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. Its home airport is Chinggis Khaan International Airport (ULN), from where it operates scheduled services to China, Germany, Japan, Russia, South Korea and Thailand.
Confidence in the Dreamliner
Despite ongoing issues with the Trent 1000 engines, carriers around the world remain confident in the abilities of the 787 Dreamliner. There was some speculation that orders would be cancelled after many airlines faced grounded aircraft over the summer season. However, confidence in the Boeing widebody remains relatively high.
Emirates president Tim Clark was recently quoted as saying that Emirates would stick to its large commitment for Boeing 787-10s at the IATA 2019 Annual General Meeting on June 2nd in Seoul, South Korea.
Although it’s not clear which engine option MIAT has selected for its own 787, it’s likely that the issues will not present a problem for the carrier. With Rolls Royce still working hard to fix the issues with the engines, all should be resolved by the time MIAT receives its own 787.
The superior range of the 787-9 will put all of North America within striking distance of Chinggis Khaan International Airport. It will be interesting to see which cities MIAT chooses for its launch of long haul services and whether it can make a success of these routes.
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