ANOTHER FIRST FOR BOEING AS THE B777 GETS 330 MINUTES ETOPS APPROVALS
The FAA has announced that they have approved extended operations times for the B777 from the previous 240 minutes, or 4 hours, to now a maximum of 330 minutes or 5 ½ hours flying time, following years of data gathering and interpretation on the safe operation of this aircraft type when flown over extended stretches of ocean. This latest development will in the future permit airlines to fly more direct routes, no longer having to hug shorelines to be able to land the aircraft safely in case of an over water engine failure, substantially cutting flying times on very long haul routes and in the process saving fuel too.
The approval will undoubtedly aid sales for the B777 in its various versions, in particular the long range models, as their versatility compared to its nearest rivals has been greatly boosted by the expanded ETOPS permissions. Notably for the East African region has Kenya Airways ordered a further 3 B777-200LRs which are due to enter service from next year, thought to be deployed then on the very long routes over the Indian Ocean to Far Eastern destinations in China.
Watch this space for the latest in aviation news from Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands.