Foto: Assessoria de Imprensa Boeing

Latin American airline Avianca-Taca has converted three Boeing 787-8 options, taking its total order of the aircraft type to 15.

The carrier converted the options last month, its chief financial officer Gerardo Grajales Lopez tells Flightglobal Pro.

Avianca-Taca will receive its first 787 in April 2014, he adds. The airline had initially expected the first aircraft in the second half of 2010 but delays to the 787 programme have since pushed this back.

Four 787s will be added to the carrier’s fleet in 2014, followed by three in 2015, three in 2016 and two in 2017. The three options that were recently converted will be delivered in 2019, says Lopez.

“We are talking to EXIM [Export-Import Bank of the US] about long-term financing for these aircraft,” he says, adding that he expects about 60% of the 787 orders to be financed by EXIM. The remaining aircraft will be financed through sale and leaseback deals, says Lopez.

Avianca-Taca is hoping to operate the 787 to western and eastern Europe, says its chief operating officer Estuardo Ortiz Porras. He notes that the aircraft will open up many non-stop markets.

Source: (by Ghim-Lay Yeo)