The Boeing Company today delivered China Southwest Airlines' first 737-600 airplane, making it the first operator of this airplane in China. This is the first of three 737-600s scheduled to be delivered this year to the Chengdu-based carrier. The jetliners are being leased through GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS).
"We are thrilled that China Southwest Airlines is the first operator of the 737-600 in China," said Larry Dickenson, Boeing senior vice president of Sales. "The airline is modernizing their fleet and chose the 737-600 based on its reliability and quality. "
The 737-600 will join China Southwest Airlines' single-aisle fleet of Boeing 737s and 757s. The airline currently operates 14 737-300s, three 737-800s and 13 757-200s. The new 737-600 will operate on the domestic medium- and short-range routes as the airline expands its routes in China.
"Based on our meticulous evaluation, it is clear that the 737-600 has superior economics and performance characteristics," said President Wang Shixiang of China Southwest Airlines. "Our passengers can enjoy flying in the high-quality interior, with its state-of-the-art entertainment system. Boeing airplanes are the core of our fleet and ideally suited for our route structure."
The China market has more 737s than any other commercial jetliner. There are currently 198 737s operating in China at 15 airlines. Worldwide, the 737 family is the most popular single-aisle airplane in the airline industry. To date, Boeing has received orders for more than 4,900 737s from more than 200 customers.
The Boeing Company has been in China for almost 30 years and is the leading supplier of commercial airplanes to that market. The China-wide fleet of commercial airplanes is 548, of which 357 are Boeing models. Boeing projects that through the year 2020, the China market will require 1,764 new airplanes valued at $144 billion, making it the largest commercial aviation market outside of the United States.
GECAS is a global aviation solutions provider offering financing for short-term and long-term equipment needs, acquisition financing, aircraft remarketing and sale/leaseback arrangements. GECAS is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., and has regional offices in New York, Miami, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Luxembourg, Vienna, Austria, and Shannon, Ireland.