Indonesian dancers escorted the newest member of the Next-Generation 737 airplane family along the south shores of Lake Washington as employees and 737 supplier representatives, local and Indonesian government officials and Indonesian launch customer, Lion Air, looked on.
"This is a wonderful day for the Boeing team and 737 customers. The capability and value of the world's most successful jet family continues to grow with the new 737-900ER," said Mark Jenkins, vice president and general manager of 737 Airplane Production. "We are confident that the airplane's unprecedented economic advantages and industry-leading reliability will enable our customers to be even more successful. That's the hallmark of the 737."
Boeing launched the 737-900ER in July 2005 when Jakarta-based Lion Air announced an order for 30 737-900ERs. Lion Air also exercised purchase rights for 30 additional 737-900ERs in June 2006. In addition to Lion Air, the 737-900ER has been ordered by Continental Airlines, GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) and Sky Airlines. Futura International Airways and Excel Airways will begin operating 737-900ERs on lease from GECAS in 2008.
The first 737-900ER will be delivered to Lion Air in the first half of 2007, following a five-month flight test program.
"The induction of the 737-900ER into our fleet will give Lion Air the competitive advantage both in cost savings and service," said Rusdi Kirana, president-director of Lion Air. "We are proud to be the only airline in Southeast Asia that will operate the 737-900ER, which will support our strategic plan to expand our routes and add new destinations within our growing market."
The 737-900ER is the same size as the 737-900, but can carry 26 additional passengers in a one-class configuration. At 138 ft., 2 in. long, the twin-engine jet incorporates a new pair of exit doors and a flat rear-pressure bulkhead that allows a maximum capacity of 215 passengers in a single-class layout.
Aerodynamic and structural design changes, including strengthened wings, a two-position tailskid, enhancements to the leading and trailing-edge flap systems, and optional Blended Winglets and auxiliary fuel tanks, will allow the 737-900ER to accommodate higher takeoff weights and increase its range to 3,200 nautical miles (5,900 km).
The 737-900ER will have substantial economic advantages over competing models including 9 percent lower operating costs per trip and 7 percent lower operating costs per seat than the A321 -- which is more than 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg) heavier.
The 737-900ER joins the 737-600, -700 and -800 airplanes and will share the same industry-leading reliability of the other Next-Generation 737 series models. The Next-Generation 737s are 10 years newer and fly higher, faster and farther than competing models. To date, 99 customers have placed orders for more than 3,300 Next-Generation 737s.
For more information about the 737-900ER, visit http://www.boeing.com/commercial/737family/media_kit/index.html .
Web site: http://www.boeing.com/