Trans World Airlines (TWA) chose the Boeing 717-200 to replace its older DC-9 fleet after an extensive analysis of all available airplane models. The airline today announced plans to acquire 50 Boeing 717-200s and purchase rights for an additional 50.
Powered by BMW Rolls-Royce BR715 engines, deliveries for the new aircraft will begin in February 2000.
"The new 717s will upgrade and replace the DC-9, offering improved range and payload characteristics in a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly new aircraft," said Gerald L. Gitner, TWA chairman and chief executive officer. "TWA expects the 717-200 to deliver a 35 percent operating cost advantage over the DC-9."
"We couldn't be more pleased that TWA chose the 717 for its high-frequency routes," said Alan Mulally, Commercial Airplanes president. "This decision is particularly meaningful to us because TWA looked at all its options, and ultimately they chose the 717-200 for its low operating costs and the overall value it provides."
Two 717-200s are currently in a flight test and certification program at the Boeing facility in Yuma, Ariz. Combined, the two airplanes have recorded more than 300 flight hours with very positive performance results. A third airplane is due to enter flight testing this month.
The quiet and efficient BR715 turbofan, rated at 18,500 to 21,000lb thrust, was awarded certification by the Federal Aviation Administration in September. The BR715 is the only new-generation engine in its class available today.
The Boeing Company projects a market for approximately 2,100 jetliners in the 90-120 seat category over the next 20 years. For airlines focused on competitive, low-cost operations, the 717-200 has a significant advantage. Operating and maintenance costs are expected to be approximately 25 percent lower than existing and proposed airplanes in its class.
Today's announcement further cements a 65-year relationship between Boeing and TWA. Over the years, TWA has operated planes ranging from the DC-1 in the 1930s to today's full fleet of modern jetliners including the 747 the 767 and MD-80.
To date, TWA has ordered 340 jetliners from Boeing. In 1999, the airline will receive, on average, a new Boeing aircraft every 10 days. By the end of 1999, TWA will have replaced at least 42 percent of its fleet since 1996.