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VARIG'S FIRST BOEING 747-400 ENTERS SERVICE

 VARIG'S FIRST BOEING 747-400 ENTERS SERVICE
 RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The first of


Varig's nine new Boeing 747-400s began intercontinental service today with a nonstop flight from Rio to Milan and Rome, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group said.
 Varig, Latin America's largest carrier, has ordered or leased its eight Boeing 747-400s to expand what is already Latin America's largest Boeing fleet which totals 73 aircraft.
 "With our 747-400, we offer our passengers a new level of service on the longest routes," said Varig President Rubel Thomas. "We know that the 747 is the most popular airplane with our customers and we expect the -400 to set new standards of satisfaction."
 Varig, one of the world's oldest airlines, began operations in 1927. In the ensuing years, Varig has steadily expanded its domestic, regional and international service and today flies to more than 45 destinations in Brazil and more than 40 cities abroad.
 Varig's 747-400s accommodate a total of 438 passengers in a tri- class arrangement; 16 in first class, 42 in business class and 380 in economy class. The -400 can fly Rio-Rome nonstop thanks to the 747- 400's 8,400 statute-mile (13,518 km) range made possible by advances in design.
 In 1990, Varig closed the largest single transaction in the airline's history and the largest aircraft order in dollar terms by a Latin American carrier -- ordering 14 Boeing aircraft; six Boeing 747-400s with five options and eight Boeing 737-300s with seven options. Total value of the order was about $2.6 billion, of which about $1.3 billion was for the 14 on firm order. The aircraft entering service today is one of two leased from International Lease Finance Corp. of Beverly Hills, Calif.
 Varig's 747-400s are powered by General Electric CF6D80C2-B1F engines. Distinguished from its predecessors by six-foot high (1.8 m) winglets on each wingtip, the Boeing 747-400 consumes 11 percent to 15 percent less fuel than 747-300s.
 -0- 12/15/91
 /CONTACT: Randy Harrison of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, 206-234-9333/
 (BA) CO: Boeing Commercial Airplane Group; Varig ST: Washington IN: AIR SU:


SC -- SESU1 -- 2655 12/15/91 12:00 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 15, 1991
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