Demonstrating a bold vision for the future, VARIG - the largest airline in Latin America - recently took delivery of its first Boeing Next-Generation 737-700.
On lease from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), today's delivery comes two months after the airline announced an agreement to purchase 39 Boeing jetliners valued at approximately $2.7 billion. That order includes four 777s, 10 Next-Generation 737-800s, four Next-Generation 737-700s and six extended-range 767-300ERs. In addition, VARIG placed options for four 777-200s and 11 737-700s.
"Latin America's fleet has become increasingly Boeing this year," said John Feren, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president - The Americas. "We're confident these airplanes will contribute to Varig's long-term profitable growth and meet the airline's needs well into the next century."
"Boeing provides significant advantages in reliability, lower maintenance costs and in unsurpassed customer service," said VARIG President and Chief Executive Officer Fernando Pinto. "We have been operating Boeing aircraft for many years, and the opportunity to take these new airplanes will reinforce our position as a market leader into the next century."
The Boeing 737 is operated by 280 customers in more than 100 countries, and continues to be the best-selling jetliner in commercial aviation history. More than 800 737s are in the air at all times, with one taking off every six seconds. The 737 family alone has won orders for more than 4,000 airplanes - more orders than the company's biggest competitor has won for its entire product line since it began business.
The Next-Generation 737s include a newly designed larger wing, new systems and avionics, a redesigned passenger cabin, higher cruise speed, greater range and new engines.
VARIG and its subsidiaries, Rio Sul and Nordeste, currently operate more than 100 Boeing jetliners.