MIAMI — Réunion-based Air Austral took delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (F-OLRC • MSN 34510 • LN 22), in a ceremony held at the airframer’s delivery center in Seattle.

The newest addition to Air Austral’s fleet will enable the carrier to exploit long and thin routes, such as Dzaoudi – Paris Orly, announced by Marie-Joseph Male, executive chairman and chief executive officer, Air Austral. “This airplane is the most advanced in the world, with superior operating economics all while providing our passengers an unrivalled on-board experience.”

Founded over four decades ago, Air Austral currently has a fleet of nine aircraft, serving over 10 destinations worldwide. Last year, the airline announced an order for two Dreamliners, discarding the plans to acquire two Airbus A380s previously ordered in 2009. Last April, Airbus pulled out the order from the books after several delivery deferrals.

“The Dreamliner will complement Air Austral’s growing long-haul fleet, made up of 777s and now a 787, as well as its trans-continental network to Europe and Asia” said Van Rex Gallard, vice president sales Latin America, Caribbean and Africa, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Following delivery, the aircraft took off bound to Roland Garros Airport in Saint-Marie, Réunion Island, in a 10,500-mile (16,898-kilometre) journey.