SEATTLE, May 16 // -- During a festive celebration in Seattle
today, The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) delivered the first 737-900 to launch
customer Alaska Airlines. The new airplane is the first of 11 737-900s Alaska
will receive between May and April 2003 and the first of three the airline
will receive this month.
At 138 feet 2 inches, the 737-900 is the longest of the four
Next-Generation 737 models and seats the most passengers. As configured by
Alaska, the airplane carries 172 passengers in a two-class configuration,
52 more passengers than their 737-700s and 34 more than their 737-400s and
"The operating economics of the 737-900 clearly set this plane apart from
the competition and make it a winner in the market," said Carolyn Corvi,
vice president/general manager of the 737 program. "Since the costs to
operate this airplane are similar to smaller single-aisle airplanes, the added
seats give airlines the opportunity to generate more profit per flight."
Corvi said the increased passenger capacity gives the 737-900 the lowest
operating costs per seat of any single-aisle airplane in its class. In
addition, the 737-900 is the most fuel-efficient single-aisle jetliner in its
"The added passenger capacity and fuel efficiency are important,
especially at a time when airlines are seeking to improve their financial
bottom lines in the face of the highest fuel prices they have seen in years,"
Every current model of the 737 family (737-600/-700/-800/-900) features
all-new, more spacious interiors with more accessible overhead luggage bins,
as well as the 737's legendary high dispatch reliability. The 737 models also
have advanced flight decks featuring the latest large flat panel display
technology -- one that permits operators to configure the display for maximum
commonality with existing fleets. The airplanes are designed to fly higher,
faster, farther and quieter than previous 737 models and the competition.
The 737-900 will be the largest airplane in Alaska Airline's fleet.
Alaska Airlines intends to use its new fleet of 737-900s to accommodate
passenger growth on the high-density West Coast markets. The airline will fly
the plane on routes between Seattle and the cities of Anchorage, Alaska,
Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego. The new airplanes also present
the opportunity for Alaska to add new markets to its current route system.
Three other airlines will add the 737-900 to their fleets this year.
Continental Airlines will receive its first 737-900 later this month; KLM
Royal Dutch Airlines takes delivery in late June; and Korean Airlines will
receive its first in early November.
The 737 is the best selling commercial jetliner in history. To date, more
than 3,900 737s have been delivered to more than 200 customers around the