Korean Air's first Next-Generation 737-800 takes-off today for its home destination in Seoul, Korea. The carrier accepted delivery of the airplane from GE Capital Aviation Services on Jan. 20th. The airplane is the first of eight Next-Generation 737-800s scheduled for delivery to Korean Air this year.
The original order - 22 orders and five options - was announced in June 1998 during the Korea/U.S. Open Skies Agreement signing ceremony at Washington, D.C. Korean Air selected the Next-Generation 737-800s and -900s as part of its strategic plan to simplify its fleet and meet anticipated passenger traffic demand in Northeast Asia.
"The Next-Generation 737s will be a great addition to our fleet," said Shim, Yi-Taek, president and CEO - Korean Air. "Not only will these airplanes help us meet our objective of being flexible in responding to market requirements, but we will be able to do it while providing our passengers with the utmost comfort in flying."
Korean Air configured its initial Next-Generation 737-800 to carry 161 passengers - eight in business class and the remainder in the economy section. The carrier plans to use the Next-Generation 737-800 fleet for its domestic network and routes that connect Korea to China and Japan.
"With this delivery, Korean Air will be operating a member of the world's most successful commercial airliner family - the Boeing 737 family," said Larry Dickenson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group senior vice president - Asia/Pacific Sales. "The 737-800 is designed to deliver more value to Korean Air by remaining the best at balancing performance and economics."
The Next-Generation 737 airplanes entered service in 1998 and have the newest, most aerodynamically efficient wing, the newest cockpit and a completely new and more spacious interior. The Next-Generation family set an industry record for fastest order-growth for a new airplane, with 1,360 orders booked as of the end of 1999.