Boeing [NYSE: BA] today delivered to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines the first of 10 new Boeing 777-200ER jetliners. The Netherlands-based carrier will use the high-technology
777s to replace its retiring Boeing 747-300 fleet. The remaining 777s will be delivered over the next two years.
The KLM 777s will be the first airplanes in the world with the new Boeing Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) in the flight deck. The EFB system will place all the information pilots need to fly the airplane at their fingertips in easy-to-use digital format.
"We chose the 777 because of its technological capabilities, lower noise levels, economic performance and ability to transport our passengers in a shorter time to destinations all over the world," said Peter Hartman, KLM managing director and chief operations officer. The 777 is the perfect fit for our long-distance routes."
"KLM is proud to be the launch airline for breakthrough flight-deck technologies like the Electronic Flight Bag," Hartman added.
KLM plans to use the 777s on intercontinental routes from its home base in Amsterdam to New York; Toronto; Tokyo; Capetown, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; and other destinations. The 777-200ER can fly as far as 14,316 kilometers (7,730 nautical miles).
Besides the Electronic Flight Bag, KLM is introducing several new passenger-focused features on its 777s, including an option-filled seatback video system and reclining business class seats featuring advanced ergonomic comfort.
The KLM airplane will be the first Boeing 777 delivered with the Matsushita System 3000i, a system capable of providing upwards of 300 hours of digital audio and video on demand. The seats, which recline into a nearly flat position, feature video monitors, in-seat reading lights, lumbar support, back massage, and privacy hoods.
The KLM 777 also has the award-winning Boeing Signature Interior, known for its ambient lighting and easily accessible drop-down luggage bins. The Boeing Signature Interior is preferred by customers worldwide and will provide KLM's passengers the kind of space and comfort they expect.
The 777 family of airplanes is undergoing its first major avionics upgrade since its introduction in 1995. KLM's new 777 is among the first to have new, lighter-weight computers which provide ample room for growth. Four key airplane systems have been updated: the Airplane Information Management System, Electrical Load Management System, Primary Flight Computer, and the Air Supply and Cabin Pressure Controller.
The 777s that KLM will fly have a reputation for being environmentally responsible, a feature especially important at noise-sensitive European airports such as Amsterdam's Schiphol.
"With its high-performance wing, efficient engines and lighter structure, the 777 is significantly more fuel-efficient than competing products," said Toby Bright, executive vice president of Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
"The 777's fuel burn is about 16 percent better than other airplanes in its class. Fuel efficiency means lower emissions into the atmosphere and lower operating costs for the airline."
Besides using less fuel, the 777 is quiet and has less of an impact on the communities located near airports. The 777's engines meet community noise restrictions well below international Chapter 3 limits and even below future Stage 4 limits.
Major airlines around the world, including British Airways, Air France, Alitalia, Lauda Air and El Al, fly the 777. To date, 622 have been ordered since the 777 was launched in 1990, and more than 450 have been delivered.
KLM, which began operations in 1919, was a launch customer for three Boeing airplane models: the 747-200, the 747-400 Combi and the 737-900.