Air Transportation: June 8, 2003

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The recent U.S. Air Force agreement to lease a hundred Boeing 767 aircraft for use as aerial tankers was only one part of the manufacturers successful program to sell Boeing 767s as military tankers world wide. The sale of four 767 tankers to Italy in 2001 gave Boeing the edge in selling ten more to Britain and even more to other nations (France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Australia, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Israel) that are in need of new tankers to replace rapidly aging models (KC-135s, KC-130s and others.) A major advantage the KC-767 has is that its main cabin remains available for cargo or passengers while the fuel and aerial refueling equipment is carried elsewhere in this spacious, two engine aircraft. Airbus has proposed several of its aircraft for tanker duty, but have not been as quick as Boeing to get working tankers into the hands of users. Currently, 767s go for about $200 million each.

 


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