Boeing Congratulates Newest 717 Operator, Aerolineas Baleares

Boeing Company President and Chief Operating Officer, Harry C. Stonecipher today congratulated Aerolineas Baleares (AB) for selecting the Boeing 717-200. AB, a subsidiary of Spanair in Spain has announced its intention to purchase three Boeing 717-200 airplanes with options for up to another 17 airplanes. Deliveries of the airplanes are scheduled to begin in June this year.

"We are pleased to welcome AB to the growing family of 717 operators. The 717-200 is a truly global jetliner, with many European suppliers," said Stonecipher during a visit to Rolls-Royce Deutschland, the exclusive manufacturer of the 717 engine. "The exceptionally quiet and efficient engines, manufactured here in Dahlewitz, show the importance of German technology on this airplane. The fuselage is built in Italy and other parts come from Spain, Austria, the United Kingdom and France."

Earlier this month, Spanair announced its launch of AB and its plans to connect the Balearic Islands with the mainland. Future plans include key domestic routes in Spain, and international flights.

"The 717 is an excellent airplane to connect important Spanish cities such as Palma de Mallorca and Valencia, Alicante, Ibiza and Mahon," said Gonzalo Pascual, chairman of Spanair. "We intend to upgrade the level of service between the Balearic Islands and the mainland, currently served by smaller airplanes, and we are confident passengers will prefer the comfort and innovative features of the 717."

The Boeing 717 twinjet is a cost-effective airplane that is specifically designed to serve high-frequency, short-range routes. It is the quietest jetliner in the world, and features big jet comfort. Originally launched as the MD-95 in October 1995, the airplane was designated the Boeing 717 following the merger of McDonnell Douglas and The Boeing Company in 1997.

The 717 is similar in size and configuration to the DC-9 Series 30, its highly successful predecessor that continues to offer regional airline service around the world. Maximum nonstop range goes up to 1,750 statute miles (1,521 n.mi./2,817 km).

Two advanced Rolls Royce 715 high-bypass-ratio engines power the 717. The engine is rated at 18,500 to 21,000 pounds of takeoff thrust, with lower fuel consumption and significantly lower noise and emission levels than the power plants on comparable airplanes.

The 717 flight-test program began in September 1998 and was successfully completed in August 1999. The 717 is the first commercial airplane to receive a Concurrent and Cooperative Certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Europe's Joint Aviation Authorities.

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Lewis Brinson
John Thom