Boeing Delivers Air China's First Next-Generation 737-800

Air China (BEJ) accepted delivery of its first Boeing Next-Generation 737-800, The Boeing Company announced today. This is the first of 11 737-800s the airline ordered in 1997 and 1998.

Established in 1988, Air China - the flag carrier of the People's Republic of China (PRC) - is one of the largest airline operators in the nation. The majority of Air China's current fleet of 60 airplanes consists of Boeing 737s, 747s, 767s, and 777s.

"The Next-Generation 737-800's reliability, maintainability, and commonality to other 737 models makes it the ideal choice for our fleet," said Wang Li An, president - Air China. "I anticipate that the Next-Generation 737 family will become the backbone of Air China's domestic and regional operations, building on the success of our Boeing 737-300s."

Air China configured its initial 737-800 to carry 167 passengers - eight in first class and the remainder in the economy section. Air China plans to use the new airplane on domestic and regional routes.

"Air China is one of the most important carriers in Asia and a valued Boeing customer since the first 707 was delivered to Air China's predecessor, the CAAC, in 1973," said Larry Dickenson, senior vice president - Asia/Pacific Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group. "Boeing is proud to be a part of Air China's continued success, and we look forward to working with the airline to enhance their future operating fleet."

With 4,329 total orders and more than 3,450 deliveries, the Boeing 737 is the best-selling commercial jetliner of all time. More than 800 737s are in the air at any time, with one taking off every six seconds.

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T. May Kulthol
Stephanie Mudgett