Boeing today confirmed Continental Airlines intends to order 15 Boeing 757-300 single-aisle airplanes. Continental will be the first major U.S. airline to operate the 757-300 in a two-class configuration.
"As we reduce our fleet to just three types of aircraft, this new 757 model will help us efficiently serve a set of routes that demand additional capacity," said Gordon Bethune, Continental chairman and chief executive officer.
The 757-300 has the lowest seat-mile costs of any single-aisle jetliner on the market, making it an extremely cost-effective airplane for airlines to operate. It incorporates elements of the popular, award-winning interior of the Boeing 777. The newest member of the 757 family, the 757-300 has no direct competitor on the market.
Continental and American Trans Air (ATA) are the only U.S. carriers to operate the 757-300.
"We believe when other major U.S. carriers see how well this airplane works for Continental and ATA, they will want to add the 757-300 to their fleets," said Seddik Belyamani, executive vice president for Sales and Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group. "The passenger preference for the 757-300 is too compelling to ignore."
The 757-300 enjoyed a reliability rate of 99.64 percent during its first year of operation with launch customer Condor Flugdienst - the highest rate ever by any commercial airplane model in its first year of operation. Condor took delivery of the first 757-300 in March 1999.
The 757-300s for Continental will be powered by Rolls-Royce RB211-535E4B engines. Airplane deliveries are scheduled for late 2001 through mid-2003.
In addition to Continental, ATA and Condor Flugdienst, Arkia Israeli Airlines, Icelandair and JMC Airlines also have ordered the 757-300, totaling 44 airplanes. Fifteen 757-300s are currently operating in revenue service.
The 757-300 is 23 feet 4 inches (7.1 meters) longer and can carry 20 percent more passengers than the 757-200. It can fly up to 3,467 nautical miles (6,420 kilometers).
The Boeing 757 is consistently rated the most passenger-preferred single-aisle airplane.