China Airlines (CAL) accepted delivery of its first Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 today. Attending this milestone event were Sandy Liu, commercial vice president of China Airlines; Frank Liu, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle; and Larry Dickenson, senior vice president - Asia-Pacific, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
"I would like to congratulate China Airlines on the delivery of its first 737-800," Frank Liu said. "This delivery is significant in that, even under the impact of the Asian economic crisis, Taiwan has maintained its economic prosperity and continues to be a good customer of The Boeing Company."
China Airlines' first 737-800 is uniquely equipped with Sony LCD video displays and Sony Audio CD players. "Although our passengers will be in the air for short periods of time, we want them to experience the utmost comfort in flying," said Sandy Liu. The 737-800 flight deck display also shares a high degree of commonality with flight decks in CAL's 737-400s, allowing for reduced pilot-readiness training.
China Airlines configured its initial 737-800 to carry 158 passengers - eight in business class and the remainder in the economy section. With the versatility of the Boeing family of airplanes, the passenger cabin can be converted to an all-economy cabin arrangement of 168 passengers for tourist markets.
The Next-Generation 737-800 is a High Gross Weight model that can fly nearly 4,000 nautical miles non-stop to domestic and international gateways in Asia. "The Next-Generation 737-800 offers China Airlines the opportunity to meet our unique customer needs in our regional markets," said Sandy Liu. China Airlines plans to use the Next-Generation 737-800 fleet for routes connecting Kaoshiung, Taiwan with destinations in Southeast Asia; and for routes between Taipei and Okinawa.
To date, 56 customers worldwide have placed orders for 1,057 Next-Generation 737s. Since its launch in 1993, the Boeing Next-Generation 737 models have become the fastest-selling airplane in the world.