Air Berlin, a German airline that provides scheduled tourism service, has ordered two Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 jetliners and announced plans to order two more, The Boeing Company confirmed today.
The first two are existing orders that have been accounted for in cumulative totals published by Boeing. Until today, however, the customer for the order was unidentified. The second two orders are new, and have not been announced previously.
The four airplanes are scheduled for delivery between October 2002 and March 2003.
Air Berlin, with its all-Boeing 737 fleet, flies from cities throughout Germany to sunshine destinations primarily in the Mediterranean, selling seats both through tour operators and on an individual basis. The 737s in Air Berlin's fleet have an average age of less than two years.
"Over the last three years, we have more than doubled the number of passengers we carry," said Achim Hunold, managing partner, Air Berlin. "Therefore, our intention is to replace our Boeing 737-400 aircraft with Boeing 737-800s step by step, and to increase the Boeing 737-800 fleet."
In 1998, the airline flew about two million passengers; in 1999, the total had already reached three million.
"We are not surprised by the tremendous growth Air Berlin has experienced," said Toby Bright, senior vice president-Europe and Russia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "It is a well-managed airline with the potential for even greater expansion, and we believe it has chosen an airplane that will provide it the flexibility to expand and grow its market presence."
The Next-Generation 737-800, which can fly up to 2,905 nautical miles (5,380 kilometers) in a one-class configuration, offers the highest dispatch reliability and lowest operating costs in its class. It features an all-new, spacious Boeing 777-style interior and the most advanced-design technology in the single-aisle market, such as an all-new wing and updated liquid-crystal displays in the flight deck.
Building a quieter, more fuel-efficient airplane was a top priority for Boeing engineers designing the Next-Generation 737 family. The new, advanced-technology wing design on the models helps improve fuel efficiency. The model's new CFM56-7 engines produced by CFMI, a joint venture of General Electric Co. of the U.S. and Snecma of France, meet community noise restrictions well below current Stage 3 limits and below expected Stage 4 limits. Emissions also are reduced beyond required standards.