A Boeing 757-300 - the world's newest intermediate-range jetliner -- left today for a three-week, around-the-world tour that includes flight demonstrations for airline executives and staff, news media, government officials and other aviation representatives.
During the tour, the airplane, which entered service last year, will be showcased at stops in 16 cities in the United States, Iceland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, the People's Republic of China and Taiwan. The airplane returns to Seattle from Taiwan on Feb. 24.
"Taking the 757-300 directly to the operators will give them a chance to see how well it performs and how well it fits into their operations," said Mike Bair, Boeing 757 Programs vice president and general manager. "They'll be able to see for themselves that everything we've been saying about the airplane is true."
The Boeing 757-300, the largest single-aisle twinjet ever made, carries up to 289 passengers in a charter configuration and can fly 3,990 statute miles (6,426 km) without refueling. The model is 23 feet, 4 inches (7.1 meters) longer than the 757-200, allowing it to carry 20 percent more passengers than the 757-200 and providing it nearly 50 percent more cargo volume.
Launched in 1996, the Boeing 757-300 went into revenue service in 1999 with Condor Flugdienst, a German charter carrier that is a subsidiary of Lufthansa. It begins revenue service this month with Tel Aviv-based Arkia Israeli Airlines.
"This airplane has economics that both regularly scheduled airlines and charter carriers can appreciate," Bair said. "It has the lowest seat-mile operating costs of any single-aisle airplane on the market. It's also extremely fuel efficient and that's important in a time when accelerating fuel costs are affecting the bottom line of many airlines."
Condor, which has been operating Boeing 757-300s in its fleet for nearly a year, is finding the seat-mile costs are about 10 percent lower than that of its 757-200s, which already have the lowest seat-mile operating cost in their market segment. Lufthansa has reported that the Boeing 757-300 is the most fuel-efficient airplane in the Lufthansa Group, noting it consumes only 3.1 liters (.82 gallons) of fuel to transport one passenger over a distance of 100 kilometers (62 statute miles).
The Boeing 757-300 also is known for its on-time performance, recording a dispatch reliability rate of 99.7 percent in service with Condor.
The model has an all-new passenger cabin interior, vacuum lavatories and several avionics improvements, which also are available on the 757-200. New avionics features include the global positioning system (GPS), an enhanced ground proximity warning system, and a predictive windshear system.
Because the 757-300 and 757-200 have a common type-rating with 767 models, pilots qualified to fly one of the aircraft also can fly the others with only minimal training, saving operators time and costs.
"Due to the commonality, and the flexibility it brings to fleet planning, the 757-300 should be a good addition for major U.S. airlines with large fleets of 757s and 767s," Bair said. "Another advantage is that the 757-300 can easily handle transcontinental flights and West Coast to Hawaii or East Coast to Caribbean routes."
Bair said the 757-300 is perfect for both European charters and scheduled carriers because of its high capacity and superior economics.
"It's also ideally suited for the maturing Chinese market," he added. "As the largest single-aisle airplane around, it offers operators the opportunity to go one step above smaller 737s or 757-200s or choose a higher-frequency solution to more expensive twin-aisle airplanes in service in their fleets."
Operators of 757-300s can choose from engines produced by two suppliers: Rolls-Royce or Pratt & Whitney.