Goodbye to the Boeing 777-200LR: Turkmenistan Airlines received the latest model built

On June 14, the delivery flight of a Boeing 777-200LR was made between Lake Charles, Louisiana (CFW) to Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan (KRW), to the state-owned Turkmenistan Airlines, being the last aircraft of this variant delivered.

Our partner media, AEROIN, detailed that the aircraft in question has the EZ-A780 (MSN 66893) registration and joins three others that already operate in the Asian company: one of them is dedicated to the service of the government of the country in a VIP configuration.

The aircraft have a 291 passenger configuration, which includes 28 executive and 263 economy class seats.

The company received the other three -200LRs between 2010 and 2014, then placed a curious order for this fourth Boeing 777, valued at USD 346.9 million, in mid-2019.

EZ-A780 delivery flight of just over 14 hours. Photo: Radarbox

The model is Boeing’s longest-range commercial aircraft, capable of flying up to 8,555 nautical miles (15,843 kilometers). It entered service in 2006 and was nicknamed the “Worldliner” by the manufacturer.

This extra flight capacity comes from its increased MTOW from 247,200 kg to 347,452 kg and three auxiliary fuel tanks (optional) in the rear hold, as well as extended wingtips, a new main landing gear and additional structural reinforcements. It features GE90-115B engines, the most powerful power plant in the industry and the second largest.

While helping airlines reach new and distant markets, the model failed to cover the costs of high fuel prices. The American manufacturer outperformed the Airbus A340-500, the 200LR’s rival, but failed to maintain good sales. The airlines saw the difficulties of the «Worldliner», and refrained from placing new orders.

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Then, with the development of the Boeing 787-9 and the Airbus A350-1000, Boeing came across a white elephant. Both planes have similar ranges to the Boeing 777-200LR but use much less fuel.

To date, the manufacturer has produced 62 aircraft, which it has delivered to twelve customers: Air Austral, Air Canada, Air India, Azeribaijan Airlines, Ceiba Intercontinental, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines (launch customer), Qatar Airways, Iraq Airways and Turkmenistan Airlines.

The reason Turkmenistan’s airline insists on using the -200LR is unknown, as its furthest destinations are less than 3,000 miles (flying as far west as Birmingham and as far east as Beijing), which is about a third of the range of the plane.

According to data obtained by Aviacionline through Cirium, the pandemic caused the use of the model to decrease to 71.8% by July 2021 compared to the same month in 2019. The link between Bangalore and San Francisco is the longest route in the world. 200LR currently, covering a distance of 13,987 kilometers. Before the health crisis, Qatar Airways carried out the longest commercial service in the world with the -200LR, between Auckland and Doha, cities separated by 14,535 kilometers.

However, in 2005 it flew a non-stop demonstration flight from Hong Kong to London, which is currently considered the longest route for a commercial aircraft, traveling 21,602 kilometers in 22 hours and 42 minutes.

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