Britannia Airways, the world's largest charter carrier, has placed an order for five Next-Generation 737-800s and options for another five, The Boeing Company confirmed today.
Two orders and two options will be acquired directly from Boeing. The remainder will be acquired by operating leases from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC). Britannia, a UK-based member of the Thomson Travel Group (TTG), plans to enter the first of these new airplanes into service in early 2000.
Britannia officials conducted a rigorous evaluation between the 737-800 and competing airplanes in its class. "Our evaluation concluded that the Boeing 737-800 offers the best combination of operating and ownership costs, performance and passenger comfort on the routes that these aircraft will fly." said Britannia's Commercial Director, Richard Manley.
Britannia operates a fleet of nearly 40 Boeing airplanes including a mix of 757s and 767s. The airline will configure its 737-800 to seat 189 passengers.
"We have a relationship with Britannia that spans 30 years," said Chris Longridge, vice president - European Sales. "They were the first European customer to operate the 737-200. Over the years, we have grown with them as their needs and market have changed and we're honored by their continued commitment to us."
The 737-800 is powered by new, CFM56-7 engines produced by CFMI, a joint venture of General Electric Co. of the U.S. and Snecma of France. The engines meet community noise restrictions well below Stage 3 levels.