Turkish Airlines Selects 49 Boeing 737-800s

The flag carrier for Turkey, Turkish Airlines, announced today it is expanding the nation's role in bridging continents by selecting Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s to power its fleet in the next millennium.

The airline selected the 737-800 to service its expanding route network, with 26 announced ordersand 23 options. Total value of the deal if all options are exercised is approximately $2.5 billion.

The Next-Generation 737-800 models are powered by new CFM56-7 engines produced by CFMI, a joint venture of GE of the U.S. and Snecma of France. The CFM56-7 has a 10 percent higher thrust capability than the CFM56-3C engines powering today's 737s.

"THY's success over the past 63 years is due to its commitment to excellence and its ability to take advantage of opportunities," said Seddik Belyamani, vice-president of international sales, Middle East/Africa/South Asia/Pacific. "THY already has 30 737s in its fleet, and their experience with the twinjet's superior operating and performance characteristics led to this decision to select the 737-800 for fleet expansion. THY's decision reflects their confidence in our product and our company. We couldn't be more pleased," he added.

Since Boeing announced the launch of the latest members of the Boeing 737 family -- the 737-600/-700/-800 models -- they have outsold all others in their market segment.

The 737-800 was launched on Sept. 5, 1994, at the Farnborough Air Show, with first delivery of this model going to the German carrier Hapag-Lloyd in early 1998.

Changes from current production 737s include a new larger wing, higher cruise speed, more range, and new engines with improvements in noise, fuel burn and thrust. The 737-800 is a stretched version of the current 737-400 and is capable of carrying 160 to 189 passengers.

With a length of 129 feet, six inches, the Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 is the longest 737 ever built.

The 737 -- a short- to medium-range airplane -- is based on focusing on delivering more value to airlines in the form of reliability, simplicity, and reduced operating and maintenance costs. In addition, the new 737-600/-700/-800 models will enjoy crew commonality with today's 737.

In 1933, Turkish Airlines (THY) inaugurated service with three weekly flights between Ankara and Istanbul, a distance of 220 miles, to take advantage of that centuries-long pioneering spirit. THY has over the years expanded its reach into Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America and the Far East, excelling in being an aviation leader. Today, the airline flies to 26 domestic and 59 international destinations.

To date, total Next-Generation 737-600/-700/-800 orders now total 692 airplanes by 32 customers. The 737-800 leads the way with 285 orders.