Saturday, September 10, 2016

PIA orders 8 Boeing 787-9s

Pakistan's flag carrier i.e. PIA has officially confirmed that it has placed an order with Boeing for 8 B787-9s as part of an exchange deal.

Originally in Feb 2012, PIA firmed up an order for 5 Boeing 777-300ERs but over the past month, Boeing had offered a replacement solution for the carrier with the Boeing 787 aircraft family. After long negotiations both parties agreed to swap the 5 B77Ws for 8 B789s.


A very smart move initiated by Boeing for PIA's long term benefit. In order to realize its full potential, PIA by 2020 should sell off its entire fleet of 6 B772ERs and replace them with the more efficient B789. In this way, its wide body fleet from 2020 onwards would consist of:

2 B77Ls + 3 B77Ws + 8 B789s  

The B789 should have a configuration of 24 J (flat beds) + 279 Y (3-3-3 layout) seating a total of 303 passengers comfortably and carrying 12 tons of cargo in the belly.

In this way each aircraft type has a specific role in terms of destination being served i.e. the 3 B77Ws should be exclusively used for LHR + JED/RUH, the B77Ls for YYZ, the B789s for JFK, EU, GCC and SE Asia + KHI-LHE/ISB shuttle at peak times. 1 B789 needs to be dedicated for 3 weekly JFK nonstop services as the cost savings incurred using this aircraft type year round versus the B77W/B77L is quite significant to the financial bottom line. 

The only thing left for PIA to do in terms of fleet modernization is to order 5 A321NEOs as this aircraft type is ideal for a variety of PAK-GCC medium demand destinations as well as SE Asia, ISC and selected domestic trunk routes at off peak times.