Bangkok Airways' first Boeing
717-200 begins its journey home today following a special delivery ceremony in Long Beach, Calif. This event marks another milestone for Bangkok Airways, as it becomes the first Asian carrier to take delivery of the 717-200.
On hand for the delivery ceremony were Marc Kirner, vice president of Maintenance and Engineering - Bangkok Airways; Brian Tulmulty, chief technical officer - Pembroke Capital, Ltd.; James Phillips, vice president of the Long Beach Division and 717 Program - Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group; and other representatives from the three companies.
The new airplane, featuring Bangkok Airways' new and distinctive tropical livery, is the first of two 717 airplanes to be delivered to Bangkok Airways, under lease from Pembroke Capital Ltd. Bangkok Airways' second 717 is scheduled for delivery in April 2001.
Bangkok Airways is known throughout Southeast Asia as the first privatized airline in Thailand. It is also the first carrier in Thailand to construct and operate its own airports at two of the country's most spectacular tourist destinations, the pristine island of Samui and the culturally historic city of Sukhothai.
"For many years, Bangkok Airways has carried passengers to places other airlines do not," Kirner said. "Now we are able to provide that service with even better comfort and convenience than ever before."
The 717 provides big-jet comfort and features a spacious interior design with extra-large overhead stowbins, and illuminated, full-grip handrails. It is the quietest airplane in its class, and offers the latest technology in engines and flight-deck systems.
"We are privileged and proud to have Bangkok Airways as the first 717 operator in Asia," Phillips said. "The airline is an industry leader in many ways. Bangkok Airways' selection of the 717 as its first jetliner, is certainly a vote of confidence in the quality and reliability of our product from a new and valued customer."
The Boeing 717 twinjet is a cost-effective 100-seat airplane that is specifically designed to serve high-frequency, short-range routes. It is ideally suited to operate on the regional routes connecting Thailand to tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, such as Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Luang Prabang in Laos, and Singapore.