KLM Orders New Boeing 737-800s to Meet Growing Demand. Airline's Entire European Fleet Comprised of 737s

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has ordered four Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 twinjets, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group confirmed today. Based on the manufacturers average list price, the estimated value of today's order is $204 million.

"KLM's purchase of 737-800s was the best decision for our European markets," commented Peter Bouw, KLM president and chief executive officer. "The new aircraft are a natural step in KLM's long-term growth strategy," he added.

KLM is scheduled to receive the dual-class configuration airplanes beginning in mid 1999.

"The Next-Generation 737 family was developed with a strong focus on delivering value to airline operators and passengers who want convenient, comfortable and highly-reliable transportation," said Tom Schick, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group executive vice president and deputy to the president. "We're delighted that an industry leader like KLM has chosen the Next-Generation 737 family as they set their future strategy in place."

Schick said Boeing incorporated enhancements in the 737-600/-700/-800 series where they add value to airline operations. These include a redesigned passenger cabin, a flight deck featuring the most versatile display system offered on any commercial jetliner, and a new wing and engines for improved operating performance and reduced noise and emissions. Schick noted that making the airplane as quiet and as fuel-efficient as possible was a priority for Boeing in the design of the Next-Generation 737 family.

Airline input guided Boeing in making these enhancements. A group of airline customers, including KLM, continues to influence development today, having worked closely with Boeing to refine and enhance the airplanes.

Since the Next-Generation 737 product line was launched in 1993, 25 airlines worldwide have ordered 535 new 737-600/-700/-800 jetliners, making it the fastest-selling jetliner in history. With today's announcement, total 737 orders stand at 3,639.