Boeing 777-300ER | 2010
Airline - Dhahrani
Aircraft - Boeing 777-300ER | A9-VUA
Delivered to Dhahrani, 2010
Livery - Standard 2010
Country - Kingdom of Dhahran
In 2010, Dhahrani took delivery of its new flagship, the Boeing 777-300ER. While it had been almost entirely an Airbus customer starting in the mid-90s (apart from a short-term gap-filling purchase of several 747-400s), this swing back towards Boeing was caused by the unrivaled fuel efficiency and technological advancements of Boeing's long-range widebodies. While it had been hypothesized for some time that the airline may opt for some short-body 777s to provide a lower-capacity long-range alternative to the A340-600s in its fleet, this did not end up happening, and for some time the A330-200s and -300s continued to be the main medium-capacity long-range aircraft in Dhahrani's fleet. The 777-300ERs, with their on average 20% lower fuel burn than the A340-600, proved to be a money-maker for the airline.
The new Boeing type also introduced a new livery, as part of Dhahrani's larger rebranding in 2010. It featured bolder and richer colors, a larger typeface, and a new logo designed to look like a falcon's wing. The tail design was a significant twist on the previous one, now with not-quite-parallel swoops, 3D shading, and metallic paint used to create a shimmering effect. This redesign was accompanied by the introduction of an all-new interior hard product, increasing passenger comfort across all classes, which will be shown soon. This new brand identity and interior was first revealed to the press at King Khaleel International Airport during a dramatic rollout event (the aircraft shown here - A9-VUA, the first to be delivered - was flown to Ras Al Qua from Paine Field in absolute secrecy beforehand, with the takeoff and landing timed to occur at night). The type was then inaugurated on the London Heathrow route, as every widebody type operated by the airline before it. Its first regularly scheduled routes were Hong Kong, Dubai, and Los Angeles, in that order.
Note: This image has been edited. To see the original, click here.
Disclaimer: This project is designed to look at the progression of aviation in a more-or-less generic fictional Middle Eastern state. The fictional Kingdom of Dhahran is located near the real Saudi Arabian city called Dhahran, but has no affiliation with it, and the name is a coincidence. Any other similarities to real people, locations, or situations may be intentional. I have zero knowledge of Arabic, so while I have spent considerable time trying to get it right, mistakes are possible, and any advice is greatly appreciated.