Hapag-Lloyd Commits To Five More Boeing 737-800S

German inclusive-tour carrier Hapag-Lloyd has exercised an option to purchase five additional Next-Generation 737-800s, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group confirmed today.

Hapag-Lloyd, the launch customer for the Next-Generation 737-800, placed the initial order in 1994 for 16 airplanes, with options for eight more. Including today's announcement, the airline has made firm commitments to purchase 21 Next-Generation 737-800 airplanes.

Hapag-Lloyd operates tour charters to the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands, and the Caribbean. The airline said the 737-800 models eventually will replace the 737-400s and -500s currently in its fleet. Hapag-Lloyd has already taken delivery of five 737-800s.

The Next-Generation 737-800 shares a high degree of commonality with earlier 737 models, enabling Hapag-Lloyd to phase the newest models into its existing fleet with minimal expense.

Noted for its enhanced passenger-comfort features, the Next-Generation 737 models are based on a key philosophy: delivering more value to airlines in the form of reliability, simplicity, and reduced operating and maintenance costs.

"This is a great fit for a great customer," said Tom Basacchi, BCAG vice president -- Europe/Russia. "Hapag-Lloyd is an established leader -- not only in the marketplace, but in selecting the right airplanes to meet the charter market's needs."

The Next-Generation 737 models also are popular among carriers because of their reduced noise and emissions compared to current airplanes in operation. Each Next-Generation 737 airplane is equipped with the most advanced systems -- including the most recent developments in avionics, an enhanced ground-proximity warning system and a collision-avoidance system.

With more than 4,000 total orders, the 737 is the best-selling commercial jetliner of all time. More than 800 Boeing 737s are in the air at any time, with one taking off every six seconds.