Budapest-based Malev Hungarian Airlines today became the first airline to operate a Boeing Next-Generation 737 out of Hungary.
The airplane, a 737-700, is the first of six new 737s Malev will add to its fleet this year. Another 10 737s will be added before the end of 2004, with two more added in 2005.
The 18 airplanes, leased from International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC), will include Next-Generation 737-700, 737-800 and 737-600 models. Malev will use the 737s for scheduled flights and for chartered flights to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
"We are committed to flying the most modern fleet in Central Europe, and adding the new, technologically advanced 737 will help us achieve that, " said József Váradi, chief executive officer of Malev. "We have been flying earlier-model 737s since 1988 and have found that these airplanes are very suitable for our operations."
The Next-Generation 737 models offer a modern flight deck using the latest technology. The Malev 737-700 will be the first Boeing Next-Generation 737 ever to be equipped with part of that technology: a flight-deck feature called Navigation Performance Scales (NPS).
NPS minimizes flight delays and increases airspace capacity by allowing the airplane to navigate through a much narrower flight path with higher accuracy.
Malev and Boeing have had a business relationship for more than a decade. Malev today operates two Boeing 767s and 15 Boeing 737-300, 737-400 and 737-500s.
The new generation of 737s fly farther, faster and higher than earlier 737 models. They are capable of cruising at a level of 12,497 meters (41,000 feet), about 609 meters (2,000 feet) higher than other models of the same size, giving them an advantage in the busy European skies.
"Passengers love the new 737s because of their comfort and reliability," said Marlin Dailey, vice president of European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "They get people to their destinations on time. Airlines love these airplanes because of their low operating costs -- and everyone in Europe benefits from their environmentally responsible design."
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.