American Trans Air Becomes First North-American Operator Of Boeing Next-Generation 737 With Performance-Enhancing Winglets

The Boeing Company has delivered a Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 with advanced-technology, blended winglets to American Trans Air, Inc. (ATA), making the airline the first in North America to operate the 737-800 equipped with the performance-enhancing winglets.

Advanced technology, blended winglets on the 737-800 curve out and up from the wingtip, reducing aerodynamic drag and boosting performance. Potential improvements include 3 to 4 percent better fuel burn, reduced engine maintenance costs, increased range up to 130 nautical miles, improved takeoff performance and obstacle clearance, improved payload capability of one-half to three metric tons, increased optimum cruise altitude, and reduced noise by 0.5 to 0.7 decibels on takeoff.

"The features of the 737-800 - which include improved fuel efficiency, reduced maintenance costs and superior reliability - along with the performance enhancements derived from the winglets, underscore the recent successes of the 737-800 against its closest competitor and will provide American Trans Air with a fantastic product," said Seddik Belyamani, Boeing executive vice president of Sales. "In addition, the more spacious interiors and more accessible overhead luggage bins of these new airplanes will delight American Trans Air's customers."

Indianapolis-based American Trans Air has a total of 39 Boeing 737-800s with winglets on order. The airplanes are scheduled to be delivered between now and April 2003.

"The new 737-800 airplane is equipped with Boeing's newest technology winglets and the latest avionics and safety improvements, including a full glass cockpit and pilot's 'Heads-Up Displays'," said John Tague, president and CEO of ATA. "The spacious leather interior and roomier luggage bins of this particular airplane will provide more comfort and convenience to our value-oriented customers."

American Trans Air will lease 14 of the 39 737-800 airplanes it has on order from International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC), including the airplane delivered on Monday.

"The Boeing Company has demonstrated a willingness to negotiate an agreement that was beneficial for everyone involved," Tague said. "The new 737-800 will add value to ATA's operations by offering customers a product that has a reputation for superior reliability and is technologically advanced."

American Trans Air also is the North American launch customer for the Boeing 757-300, with 10 of the airplanes on order. Boeing will deliver the first 757-300 to the airline in July. Deliveries of additional 757-300s will continue through May 2002.

As American Trans Air takes delivery of its new 737-800 and 757-300 airplanes during the next two years, it will transition from having one of the oldest fleets to one of the youngest, most fuel efficient and quietest fleets in the airline industry.

All Next-Generation models of the 737 family (737-600/700/800/900) are designed to fly higher, faster, farther, quieter and with greater fuel efficiency than previous 737 models and the competition. In addition, the Next-Generation 737 models have new, more spacious interiors and the lowest operating costs in their class.

The 737 is the best selling commercial jetliner in history. To date, more than 3,900 737s have been delivered to more than 200 customers around the world.

ILFC, a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group, is the international market leader in the leasing and remarketing of advanced technology commercial jets to airlines around the world. ILFC owns a portfolio valued at more than $20 billion, consisting of more than 500 jet airplanes, 60 percent of which are Boeing-built. ILFC now has ordered a total of 646 new airplanes from Boeing since 1977.

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Peter Conte
Carrie Thearle