Air China, the flag carrier of the People's Republic of China, signed a purchase agreement for five Next-Generation 737-800 jetliners at a ceremony today at the China World Hotel in Beijing, China. These airplanes are part of the historic 50-jetliner order placed during the Sino-American summit in October 1997.
The Boeing jetliners are the first Next-Generation 737-800s to be purchased in China.
"Air China is pleased to include in our fleet the newest member of the 737 family, said Yin Wen Long, Air China president. "The inclusion of this airplane into our existing 737 fleet will enable Air China to continue to provide comfortable, convenient service to all our domestic and regional locations."
The Beijing-based airline currently operates 47 Boeing jetliners on 103 routes to 99 cities worldwide.
Yeh Huang, vice president -- Boeing China Inc., said, "Air China operates one of the most modern and efficient airline fleets in the world. We are honored by Air China's strong vote of confidence in Boeing airplanes. These Next-Generation 737-800s will contribute to Air China's growth and future success." Air China will begin taking delivery of its 737-800s in 1999.
The 737-800 is one of four Next-Generation 737 family members and will be configured by Air China to seat around 167 passengers. The twinjet has a range of 2,925 nautical miles. The 737-800 was launched Sept. 5, 1994, at the Farnborough Air Show in England. First delivery of this model will go to the German carrier Hapag-Lloyd in early 1998.