While I think that AC will order the A321 this clip from Boeing.com's news section may be entertaining.
"This is a definitive milestone for us," said Jack Gucker, vice president of 737/757 Derivative Programs. "We are wrapping up the development phase of this airplane program right on schedule and moving toward on-time delivery of the first 737-900 in April 2001."
With most engineering drawings complete, parts for the airplane are being manufactured and delivered by suppliers worldwide. Employees at the Boeing plant in Wichita, Kan., have completed assembly of the 133 foot 5 inch (40.7 meter) fuselage of the first 737-900. The first wings are being built at the Boeing factory in Renton, Wash.
The 737-900 is nearly nine feet (2.7 meters) longer than the Next-Generation 737-800, the largest model in the Boeing Next-Generation 737 family. The 737-900 will carry up to 177 passengers in a two-class configuration, 15 more passengers than the 737-800. It accommodates up to 189 passengers in a one-class layout.
Because of this higher capacity, the new 737-900 will offer the lowest seat-mile operating costs in the Next-Generation 737 family. With its newer and more advanced design, the 737-900 will have a nearly 9 percent lower seat-mile cost than the similar sized Airbus Industrie A321-200. This will allow 737-900 operators the flexibility to offer lower fares and operate more profitably than competitors with the older Airbus product. Seat-mile cost is the standard measure used to calculate the cost of transporting one airplane seat one mile.
The 737-900 uses the same wing and the same engine as the 737-600, 737-700 and 737-800 models. All four models are powered by CFM56-7 engines produced by CFMI, a joint venture of General Electric Co. of the U.S. and Snecma of France.
The airplane will be able to cruise at a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet (12,497 meters), compared to 39,000 feet (11,887 meters) for Airbus Industrie's A320. For passengers, this can mean a smoother ride. For airlines, it means being able to fly above bad weather, congested routes, and less capable airplanes.
The first 737-900, which was ordered by Alaska Airlines, is due to leave the Renton factory in July. Continental Airlines, Korean Air Lines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines also have ordered the model. The total of orders for the model is 45.
With 1,453 orders from 109 customers, the Next-Generation 737 programs is the fastest selling airplane family in commercial aviation history.>
Just to add some thought to this discussion.
I was also able to get this clip from Airbus.
Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) has signed a contract with Airbus Industrie for the purchase of six A330-300 widebody twins and four A340-300 four-engined long-range aircraft as well as for twelve A321 single-aisle jetliners. These orders follow earlier announcements by the airline.
The A330 and A340 are members of the same aircraft family, offering operators a choice of two or four engines on the same fuselage. While the four-engined A340 enables carriers to develop more non-stop ultra-long haul services, the twin-engine A330 combines low operating costs with maximum flexibility for a wide range of route structures, including transatlantic flights.
SAS’ A340-300s will feature 275 seats, with 56 in Business and 219 in Economy Class, while the airline’s A330-300s will accommodate 278 passengers, with 56 seats in Business and 222 in Economy Class. With deliveries from 2001 to 2004, the Airbus Industrie aircraft will successively replace the Boeing 767 as SAS’ long-haul airliner.
With the introduction of the A330/A340 Family, SAS will increase the number of seats available on intercontinental flights by up to 50 per cent, while cargo capacity will increase by 40 per cent.
At the same time SAS purchased twelve Airbus Industrie A321 single-aisle aircraft, making a very significant switch from its existing aircraft supplier for European operations. The A321 is the largest member of the A320 Family, the world’s fastest selling single-aisle aircraft product line. SAS’ A321 will feature a flexible cabin configuration to accommodate between 158 and 210 passengers, allowing for adjustments between Business and Economy Class seating according to demand.
The airline has invested in the new, larger aircraft for Scandinavian and European services in order to meet increasing demand on these routes. In addition to seat count, the containerised cargo loading on Airbus Industrie single-aisle aircraft will mean increased freight revenues for SAS as well as providing a pleasant working environment for ground-handling personnel.
Together, the A320 and the A330/A340 Families will not only ensure capacity increases, operational flexibility, and a superior working environment for SAS flight crew and ground personnel but will also bring considerable cost reductions in training and maintenance, thanks to the commonality between aircraft types.
To date over 560 A330s and A340s have been ordered by 54 customers, while 2,345 A320 Family aircraft have been sold to 98 customers worldwide. A total of 1,500 aircraft from both families are currently in operation around the world.>