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Kazakhstan is getting three Boeing Dreamliners

21 february 2012, 17:14
President of Air Astana Peter Foster. Photo by Aleksei Scheglov
President of Air Astana Peter Foster. Photo by Aleksei Scheglov
Signing of the contract. Photo by Aleksei Scheglov
Signing of the contract. Photo by Aleksei Scheglov
Air Astana has signed a contract with Boeing for purchase of 4 Boeing 767-300ER planes and 3 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircrafts, Tengrinews.kz reports.

According to the catalog, the cost of the contract is $1.3 billion. This order is the largest in the history of Kazakhstan’s civil aviation.

Boeing 767s will be delivered in 2013 and 2014, and Boering 787s are scheduled for 2017 and 2019.

“The purchase of the new aircrafts will be done by the airline itself, with no investments from the state or shareholders, at the company’s own expense and the financial instruments available at the market of aviation financing,” chairman of Air Astana and Managing Director of Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund Nurzhan Baidauletov said at the press-conference on February 4.

The event was also attended by Senior Vice-President on International Sales of Boeing corporation Martin Bentrott, who noted that Boeing 787 is famous for its exploitation characteristics and high feasibility. “This is the newest aircraft in the world; its exploitation started in the end of 2011,” he reminded.

“Boeing 767 aircrafts, equipped with fuel-saving winglets, will replace the company’s leased same-type airplanes and will gradually replace Boeing 757s,” President of Air Astana Peter Foster said. “Boeing 787 planes developed for flights exceeding 16 hours will be used not only for the existing routes, but will also allow us to consider making flights to the U.S., Australia and Africa.”

Meanwhile, US aircraft manufacturer Boeing has discovered a manufacturing error causing delamination in a fuselage section of some 787 Dreamliners, AFP reports citing The Seattle Times.

Citing an unnamed person with knowledge of the problem, the newspaper said Boeing was inspecting all the airplanes already built to determine the extent of the problem.

Boeing has completed assembly of about 50 Dreamliners to date and has delivered five to All Nippon Airways of Japan.

The plane entered service last year after more than three years of delays.

In a brief statement, Boeing said that the unspecified damage resulted from "incorrect shimming performed on support structure on the aft fuselage of some 787s."

Mechanics install shims, or spacers, to fill small gaps that occur between parts that don't fit together exactly, The Times explained.

A problem with faulty shimming arose in 2010 in Italy, the paper noted. Mechanics at a plant there applied too much torque when tightening fasteners, and the consequent compression of the shims degraded the composite material.

At that time, those manufacturing quality issues with the horizontal tails added months of delays to the jet program, The Times said. Many airplanes had to have their tails extensively reworked.

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