A boom in long haul sales is driving First Choice Holidays’ sales and has also led to the operator announcing it is to buy four new Boeing 787s.

In a statement delivered at today’s Annual General Meeting, First Choice Holidays chairman Sir Michael Hodgkinson will tell shareholders that in winter 06/07, revenues are up 12% with long-haul revenues up by 38%. Total capacity remains flat but long-haul capacity is up by 25%.

Summer 07 customer bookings are unchanged in last year and it is predicted that overall capacity for the summer will remain flat after the operator’s short-haul segment was reduced, with equivalent growth in the long-haul sector.

The operator’s long-haul summer 07 programme has already seen a 12% customer increase and a 19% growth in revenues.

Sir Hodgkinson said: “As a result of continuing success of our long-haul programme and the opportunities we see in new destinations to drive further growth, we have decided to exercise options over a further four Boeing 787 aircraft.”

The additional airplanes will be delivered between 2009 and 2013 and will double the size of the operator’s long haul fleet to 24.