JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Comair Limited today announced an order for eight Next-Generation 737-800s complete with the innovative new Boeing Sky Interior. Comair will use its new 737s to update the fleet of Comair's low-fare airline, kulula.com. The airplanes are valued at approximately $646 million at current list prices. The order previously was attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing's orders and deliveries website.
Launched in 2001 as South Africa's first low-fare carrier, kulula.com currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of ten 737s, including three leased 737-800s. Comair also operates as a franchise partner of British Airways, with thirteen 737 airplanes flying domestically in South Africa and regionally in Southern Africa.
"The purchase of new Boeing 737-800s is historic for our company and gives all our 1,800 staff a great feeling of pride," said Gidon Novick, joint CEO of Comair Ltd. "The new fleet is an essential part of our efficiency drive, which will not only give us a cost leadership position in our industry, but also provide our customers with exceptional levels of reliability and comfort with the spacious new interior."
In addition to its 737-800 order, Comair is purchasing the Maintenance Performance Toolbox from Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. The Maintenance Performance Toolbox improves an airline's fleet efficiency by integrating manufacturer and customer documentation, use of intelligent graphics, cross-document searching and linking aircraft fault data to specific maintenance actions. It also provides a comprehensive structural repair history for each airplane while reducing the time needed to find tail-specific technical information in time-critical situations, such as line maintenance troubleshooting and dispatch.
"Comair is an amazing success story, as this airline company has posted operating profits each year since it was founded in 1946," said Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Today's order demonstrates the value the 737-800 has already brought to its fleet and the confidence Comair has in this airplane."
Today's operators fly 737s that are 5 percent more fuel-efficient than the first Next-Generation 737s delivered in 1998, and another 2 percent improvement is on the way. Boeing's performance improvement package, now being certified, will boost Comair's fuel efficiency a further 2 percent through aerodynamic and engine changes.
Among the airlines that recently transported thousands of fans and football players throughout South Africa for the World Cup, Comair operates nearly 800 flights each week on its South African and regional routes.
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