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Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Virgin Atlantic have entered an environmental partnership, including an order for 15 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, which is reportedly the largest 787 order to date for Europe.
Boeing said that the order, which is worth approximately USD2.8bn at list prices, was previously listed on Boeing's Orders and Deliveries website and attributed to an unidentified customer. The agreement also includes options for an additional eight 787-9s and purchase rights for an additional 20 Boeing 787s.
Additionally, Boeing explained that the environmental partnership includes a joint biofuel demonstration, aimed at developing sustainable fuel sources suitable for commercial jet engines and the aviation industry. Boeing and Virgin Atlantic are also working to reduce fuel burn and cut aircraft emissions on the ground. This initiative includes trials of towing aircraft to "starting grids" close to the active runway to start engines preflight. The aim is to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions by up to 50% and to limit noise.
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Boeing and Virgin Atlantic Chairman Richard Branson said they hope to launch a test flight of a biofuel-powered 747 in the next year.
Trent 700 engines will power six A330s ordered by Virgin Atlantic and four provided by aircraft leasing company AerCap. The contract includes long-term TotalCare service support.
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co has said that Air New Zealand has finalized an order for four additional 787-9s.
The 787 is the most successful airplane launch in aviation history.