The B777-200LR was never popular. Although Air Canada has six in passenger configuration, making it one of the highest users in the world, it is one of the few airlines to use this type for commercial purposes. Today’s equipment is, in many ways, an anomaly.
Air Canada has fewer B777-200LRs than any other widebody in its fleet. Now that its B767-300ERs are no longer used for passenger service, its B777-200LRs are the airline’s oldest active Boeing wide-body aircraft, averaging 14.9 years old, according to ch-aviation.com. She has four of her six -LRs, which helps to retain them.
Ordered to replace the gas-guzzling ultra-long-range A340-500s, the first B777-200LR to arrive was C-FIUA in June 2007; by February 2008, all six had been delivered. Each has 300 seats, including 40 in business class, 24 in premium economy class and 236 in economy class.
As of this writing, four of Air Canada’s six B777-200LRs are in the air. Highlighted is AC42, 11h 6m into its flight to Delhi, with 2h 21m remaining. Image: Flightradar24.
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The B777-200LR: a summary
While the B777-200LR is renowned for its ultra-long range, it comes at a high cost: it has a 17% higher maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) than the B777-200ER, a result of the extra fuel capacity to fly over long distances. missions for which it was designed. Yet both variants have more or less the same seats. To handle the higher weight, the B777-200LR has much more powerful engines.
As you’d expect, the difference is even more marked when comparing much newer aircraft, the A350 (not operated by Air Canada) and the B787. For example, while Air Canada’s B787-9s have 298 seats (
If an itinerary is less in demand or less premium, Air Canada’s B787-8s could be used, subject, as always, to availability and opportunity cost. These have 255 seats (15% less) and a 52% lower MTOW.
The range is not necessary
All of this means that unless the range of the B777-200LR is really necessary, it is suboptimal and expensive, especially if the price of fuel is high. Unless, of course, that’s offset by much lower ownership costs than newer gear.
Although totally predictable and rather useless given that it only leases two B777-200LRs, ch-aviation.com, using market lease rates from Collateral Verifications, shows that each aircraft has an average “value” of 272 $500 per month.
By contrast, its B787-9s cost around $775,000 per month, while its B787-8s are estimated to average $410,000. There are so many fewer of them because they are much older (and smaller) than his B787-9s.
Air Canada’s B777-200LR network in September 2022. Image: OAG.
Where are its B777-200LRs flying?
Analysis of OAG data shows that Air Canada’s B777-200LR route network in September averages 4,543 miles (7,311 km). They are summarized below in order of distance.
While this is higher than any of its other widebodies, they are deployed on many routes much shorter than the variant’s actual range, let alone theoretical range. More importantly, other more efficient aircraft could exploit them, if available.
|Route in September||Miles (km)||Number of outgoing B777-200LR Flights|
|Vancouver to Sydney||7,757 (12,484)||September 26 flights; up to 1x per day|
|Toronto to Delhi||7,246 (11,662)||30; 1x per day|
|Toronto to Munich||4,138 (6,660)||Just 4; September 1/2/3/5|
|Toronto to Frankfurt||3,953 (6,362)||21; up to 1x per day|
|Toronto to Amsterdam||3,733 (6,007)||30; 1x per day|
|Toronto to London Heathrow||3,556 (5,273)||Just once; September 5 only|
|Toronto to Los Angeles||2,175 (3,501)||18; up to 2x per day|
|Toronto to Vancouver||2,085 (3,355)||27; up to 1x per day|
|Toronto to Calgary||1675 (2696)||Just 5; September 1/2/3/4/6|
Have you flown Air Canada B777-200LRs? If so, share your experiences in the comments.