The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today confirmed that KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, part of the Air France/KLM Group, placed several orders this year for a total of six Boeing Next-Generation 737s. These orders have been accounted for on Boeing's Orders and Deliveries Web site under the unidentified customer category. The order is valued at approximately $423 million at list prices.
KLM converted six options for Boeing Next-Generation 737-800s to be delivered before mid-2008. The airplanes, which are equipped with fuel-efficient, emissions-reducing Blended Winglets, will replace several Classic 737s in KLM's fleet and allow for further growth. KLM currently operates a mixed fleet of Boeing Classic and Next-Generation 737 airplanes for its short-to-medium-haul operations.
Earlier this year, KLM also converted an existing order for three 777-200ERs to three 777-300ERs. This model conversion had been identified previously on Boeing's Web site. Operating multiple models of the same airplane family gives the airline the flexibility to match the right airplane size to market demand. In a combination of leases and direct purchase, KLM will operate 18 Boeing 777s by 2009.
"In the current market environment, our customers want the most fuel-efficient products to keep their costs under control. Boeing airplanes are designed to maximize fuel efficiency and, at the same time, improve environmental performance," said Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales for Europe, Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The 737-800, which can seat 162 to 189 passengers, is the best-selling version of the successful Next-Generation 737 family. The Next-Generation 737 has logged 560 net orders in 2006. As of Oct. 31, 101 customers have placed orders for more than 3,500 Next-Generation 737s; the program has about 1,440 unfilled orders with a value of about $96 billion at current list prices.
The 777 family of airplanes is popular with passengers and airlines alike due to its fuel-efficient twin-engine design, high reliability, low operating costs, and comfortable and spacious interior. The 777-300ER carries 365 passengers in a standard three-class configuration up to 7,880 nautical miles (14,594 kilometers). Over the life of the 777 program, 45 customers worldwide have placed 867 orders for 777s. The program has about 276 unfulfilled orders worth about $65 billion at current list prices.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes has booked 775 airplane orders this year, through Oct. 31.