KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM), flag carrier for The Netherlands, took delivery of its first Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 and ordered nine more airplanes, The Boeing Company confirmed today. The newly delivered airplane is the first of 17 Next-Generation 737s KLM has ordered to expand its European network. KLM named its new 737-800 "Swan," after the carrier's new logo.
Today's order is for five 737-800s and four 747-400s. In addition, KLM announced plans to lease a 767-300ER (Extended Range) from International Lease Finance Corporation.
"This new airplane is a milestone in more ways than one: it is not only our first 737-800, but its delivery will also bring the total number of Boeing airplanes in the KLM fleet to 80 - a highly appropriate number of airplanes since we will be celebrating our 80th anniversary this year," said Peter Hartman, KLM managing director and chief operating officer.
"In our opinion, a modern and flexible fleet is a key factor for success. Our Boeing 737s are instrumental in keeping the promises we make to our customers," he added.
KLM is the fourth largest airline in Europe and the only major carrier that operates an all-Boeing fleet. Based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, KLM has been a Boeing customer since December 1933.
To commemorate the long-standing relationship between Boeing and KLM, as well as recognize the delivery, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group President Alan Mulally presented Hartman with a commissioned oil painting featuring KLM's first Boeing airplane, the DC-2; and its most recent addition, the 737-800.
"We are proud of our 65-year association with KLM and are honored by their continued commitment to our company and our products. We look forward to strengthening our partnership by continuing to provide the right airplanes for their needs, with the lowest total life-cycle costs in the industry," Mulally said.
KLM's leased 767-300ER will join its existing fleet of 11 767 airplanes. The Boeing 767 has the lowest operating cost and highest residual value in its class. Passengers appreciate the 767 because 87 percent of the seats are next to either a window or an aisle.
The Boeing 747, perhaps the best-recognized airplane in the world, continues to evolve to serve markets of the future. It offers airlines a choice of passenger, combi or freighter versions with unmatched range and capacity. The 747 also has the lowest seat-mile cost of any jetliner in the world. With the addition of the four new 747s, KLM will operate a total of 37 747 jetliners.
The 737-800 is a new, stretched version of the current 737-400. The increased length of KLM's 737-800 configuration can accommodate 29 more passengers than the 737-400s it currently operates. The 737-800 incorporates all the enhancements found on other members of the Next-Generation 737 family (the 737-600/ -700/ -900), including a redesigned passenger cabin and a flight deck that features the most versatile display system offered on any commercial jetliner. Wing and engine improvements increase operating performance while reducing noise and emissions. The Next-Generation 737 is the fastest-selling jetliner in commercial aviation history, with more than 1,120 ordered by customers worldwide.