Boeing today announced that Ryanair, Europe's largest low-fare airline, has ordered 100 Boeing Next-Generation
737-800 airplanes. It is the largest-ever single firm order for Next-Generation 737s. Ryanair, which is an all-Boeing operator, also signed for 50 options.
The catalog value of the order plus options is $9.1 billion. The 100 new 737-800s are scheduled to deliver to Dublin, Ireland-based Ryanair beginning in 2002 and continuing through 2010.
"We have found through experience that the 737 provides the unbeatable cost economies and reliability you need to run a profitable low-fare airline," said Michael O'Leary, Ryanair chief executive.
Since Ryanair converted to a low-fare model in 1991, it has turned a profit yearly, with traffic growing by about 25 percent each year. Ryanair now is the most profitable carrier in Europe.
"We patterned Ryanair after Southwest Airlines, the most consistently profitable airline in the U.S.," O'Leary said. "Southwest founder Herb Kelleher created a formula for success that works by flying only one type of airplane -- the 737, using smaller airports, providing no-frills service on-board, selling tickets directly to customers and offering passengers the lowest fares in the market. We have adapted his model for our marketplace and are now setting the low-fare standard for Europe."
Ryanair will use the new airplanes to support a network that currently carries more than 10 million passengers on 64 routes and serves 12 European countries.
"This is a validation of the 737 as the airplane of choice for low-fare airlines," said Toby Bright, executive vice president of Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "From the earliest days of Southwest, the 737 showed itself to be the airplane that could fit the model perfectly and is now flown by profitable low-fare carriers the world over."
Bright added that the reliability of the 737 is a key factor in that success and is especially important at Europe's congested airports where slot times are limited.
"You leave on time or miss your slot, " he said. "The 737's reliability also means operators can use an airplane for more flights on any given day, giving passengers more departure time choices and airlines the opportunity for more revenue."
The 737 has proven itself in service with every type of airline.
During 2000 and 2001, airline customers ordered 551 Next-Generation 737 jetliners. Of those, 100 airplanes have been ordered by new airline customers.
"New airline customers clearly prefer the 737 and recognize its economic and performance advantages," Bright said. "In the past two years, seven out of 10 airplanes in this market segment ordered by new airline customers have been 737s. The remainder of orders has been for the Airbus A320 family."
Bright said the economic benefits and flexibility of the 737 are important for new airlines that are growing their customer bases.
"The Next-Generation 737's commonality with previous models makes it easy for airlines to integrate new 737s into existing fleets and find pilots, mechanics and spare parts," Bright said.
The digitally redesigned Next-Generation 737 is the newest and most technologically advanced airplane in the single aisle market. Outfitted with a new wing and more powerful engines, the new 737s can fly higher, faster and farther than previous models and the competition. In addition, the Next-Generation 737 flight deck features the latest liquid crystal flat panel displays and is designed to accommodate new communications and flight management capabilities.
The 737 is powered by new CFM56-7 engines produced by CFMI, a joint venture of General Electric of the United States and Snecma of France. The engines meet community noise restrictions well below current Stage 3 limits and below expected Stage 4 limits.
Airlines have purchased more 737s than any other commercial airplane in history. To date, more than 5,000 737s have been ordered by 215 operators worldwide.
Other facts about the Boeing 737:
- On the average, about 1,100 737s are in the air at all times.
- A 737 takes off somewhere in the world every 5.6 seconds.
- The 737 fleet has carried more than 7 billion passengers.
- The 737 fleet has flown more than 48.8 billion miles, the equivalent of about 260 round trips from earth to the sun.