Boeing, Air China Finalize Agreement for Seven More Boeing 737s

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has finalized an order with Air China, the People's Republic of China flag carrier, for seven new Next-Generation 737-700 jetliners, which will boost the operator's Boeing fleet to 139 airplanes.

Delivery of the airplanes, which are valued at approximately $360 million at list prices, is to begin in November 2005, and extend through mid 2006. Air China will use the airplanes on its domestic routes.

"Our great relationship with Air China goes back to the airline's beginning and we're proud to be part of their success," said Rob Laird, vice president, China Sales -- Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The 737-700 and -800 have become the backbone of Air China 's domestic and regional operations because they are the most reliable and efficient single-aisle airplanes in their class."

Air China is China 's largest carrier, operating international and domestic scheduled passenger and cargo services. The carrier is based in Beijing, the home of the 2008 Olympic Games, and is the only Chinese airline selected as a 2008 Beijing Olympics partner.

Air China's new Boeing 737-700s will be powered by CFM56-7 engines produced by CFMI, a joint venture of General Electric Co. of the U.S. and Snecma of France. The airplanes will join Air China 's predominantly Boeing fleet of 737s, 747s, 757s, 767s and 777s.

The Next Generation 737 family -- the 737-600/-700/-800/-900 models -- entered service six years ago and they are 10 years younger than the competing Airbus A320 models. The digitally designed 737's large wings and powerful engines allow it to fly higher, faster and farther than competing airplanes. The advanced flight deck includes programmable software and liquid-crystal flat-panel displays that aren't available on competing models.

Besides being known for low maintenance costs, the Next Generation 737 family is a leader in the industry for reliability and appreciated by customers for its low operating costs.

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