Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Copa Airline executives today said the Panamanian airline will add four new Boeing Next-Generation
737 airplanes to its all-Boeing fleet during the next two years.
Copa ordered two 737-700s from Boeing, which will be delivered in 2006. It will also receive a 737-700 and a 737-800 next year from leasing companies.
Those airplanes will increase the carrier's fleet to 24 Next-Generation 737s -- 20 737-700s and four 737-800s -- and make it one of the newest fleets in the Americas.
"Copa Airlines will have one of the most modern, technologically advanced airplane fleets, allowing it to provide service to New York or Buenos Aires or Santiago," said Toby Bright, Boeing Commercial Airplanes executive vice president of sales. "Boeing is proud of this order from a cutting-edge carrier."
Copa Airlines was the first carrier in the Americas to incorporate blended-winglets on the 737-700. Now all Copa airplanes have the distinctive curved wing ends which improve lift and fuel efficiency. Copa also was the first airline in the Americas to order Boeing Next-Generation 737s with Vertical Situation Display (VSD), a system that provides pilots with an easy-to-understand view of the flight path.
Bright, Raymond Conner, Boeing vice president of sales for the Americas, and John Wojick, Boeing vice president of sales for Latin America and the Caribbean, joined Copa executives in Panama to make the announcement.
Tocumen International Airport, Copa's hub, is positioned as a time-saving hub on long routes between the United States, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. The Panamanian airline operates four of the world's longest 737 routes out of Tocumen -- to Buenos Aires, Santiago, Sao Paulo and Los Angeles -- taking full advantage of the 737's exceptional range.
The digitally redesigned 737 is the newest and most technologically advanced single-aisle airplane. Outfitted with a new wing and more powerful engines, the new 737s fly higher, faster and farther than previous models and competitors. 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.