The record-breaking Boeing [NYSE: BA] 737 airplane just set a new milestone likely to remain in the books for a long while. With an order for 10 737-800s from Xiamen Airlines, total orders for the all-time, best-selling 737 surpassed the 6,000 mark.
"This is an amazing milestone that reflects how much our customers appreciate the 737's technology, efficiency, safety and profit-making capability," said Alan Mulally, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive officer. "We are especially pleased to have Xiamen as the customer for this historic order, which also is a testament to our approach to designing and building the airplanes airlines want and that will deliver value to them for many, many years."
Today's order from Xiamen Airlines and subsequent orders from unidentified customers bring the 737's exact sales total to 6,025. No other jet airplane in commercial aviation history has achieved the sales success of the 737.
To date, 3,132 models of the "Initial" (-100 and -200) and "Classic" (-300 through -500) families, and 2,893 of the newer, redesigned Next-Generation 737 series (-600 through -900ER) have been sold.
Xiamen Airlines will take delivery of its 737-800s beginning mid-2006. The airplanes will be equipped with performance-boosting Blended Winglets.
"This order allows us to simplify our fleet with the most cost-efficient and superior-performance airplane in its class," said Yang Guanghua, president, Xiamen Airlines. "The Boeing 737 will help us meet our goal of reducing operating costs and increasing return on investment for our shareholders. Additionally, with its passenger-pleasing interior, the new 737s will carry our customers in utmost comfort on all our domestic routes."
Established 21 years ago, Xiamen Airlines is the first local airline company in the People's Republic of China. Its two shareholders are China Southern Airlines Company Limited and Xiamen C & D Corporation Limited with 60 percent and 40 percent shares respectively. The airline currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of 25 737s and nine 757-200s on more than 100 domestic and international routes with Xiamen, Jinjiang, Wuyishan, Hangzhou and Nanchang as its main hubs. The carrier has operated all three generations of the 737, starting with the 737-200. It currently operates Classic 737-300s and Next-Generation 737-700s.
Since entering commercial revenue service in 1968, the 737 fleet has carried more than 12 billion passengers and flown more than 75 billion miles - the equivalent of approximately 403 round trips from the Earth to the sun. The newer, technologically advanced Next-Generation 737 series entered service in 1998, making the model ten years younger than competing single-aisle models.
Today, 737s have scheduled service into 115 countries and into more than 750 cities around the world. Its industry-leading reliability, fuel efficiency and low operating costs enable operators to serve both longer trans-Atlantic routes and shorter-range routes profitably. Its versatile design also serves as the platform for military and long-range business jet derivatives.