Air Canada plans to renew its fleet of widebody jetliners with the purchase of as many as 96 Boeing 777 and 787 planes, The Boeing Co. said today.

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SEATTLE — Air Canada plans to renew its fleet of widebody jetliners with the purchase of as many as 96 Boeing 777 and 787 planes, The Boeing Co. said today.

The value of the firm orders in the deal is about $6 billion at list prices, Boeing said in a news release on the company’s Web site.

The agreement includes firm orders for 18 777s, plus purchase rights for 18 more; and firm orders for 14 787s, plus options and purchase rights for 46 more.

The 787, dubbed the Dreamliner, is Boeing’s newest jetliner model.

Montreal-based Air Canada becomes the 18th airline to select the 787, bringing the total number of announced firm orders and commitments to 217.

Air Canada’s 777 deliveries are scheduled to begin next year with the arrival of three 777-300ERs in 2006. The carrier’s first 777-300ERs will operate its Vancouver-Tokyo service. Air Canada’s first 787 is scheduled for delivery in 2010.

“We have estimated the fuel burn and maintenance cost savings alone on the 787 to be about 30 percent versus the 767s they will replace,” said Robert Milton, chairman, president and CEO of ACE Aviation Holdings, the parent company of Air Canada. “Particularly important in the current high fuel price environment is that the savings on these two line items alone will be more than twice the incremental ownership costs in acquiring these aircraft.”

The airline said it is planning to dispose of more than 60 wide-bodies over the next 10 years, with the age of the Boeing 767s to be replaced averaging about 22 years.

“We are proud to be a part of Air Canada’s plans for future growth and look forward to supporting the airline fully as it begins to incorporate our 777s and 787s into its fleet,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Alan Mulally.

The news release said Air Canada’s strategy for passenger service includes enhanced service between Toronto and Beijing and Toronto and Shanghai, and between Vancouver and Guangzhou.

It also plans to boost its international cargo service.