SEATTLE, May 16, 2001 -- During a festive celebration in Seattle today, The Boeing Company delivered the first 737-900 to launch customer Alaska Airlines. The new airplane is the first of 11 737-900s Alaska will receive between May and April 2003 and the first of three the airline will receive this month.
At 138 feet 2 inches, the 737-900 is the longest of the four Next-Generation 737 models and seats the most passengers. As configured by Alaska, the airplane carries 172 passengers in a two-class configuration, 52 more passengers than their 737-700s and 34 more than their 737-400s and MD-80s.
"The operating economics of the 737-900 clearly set this plane apart from the competition and make it a winner in the market," said Carolyn Corvi, vice president/general manager of the 737 program. "Since the costs to operate this airplane are similar to smaller single-aisle airplanes, the added seats give airlines the opportunity to generate more profit per flight."
Corvi said the increased passenger capacity gives the 737-900 the lowest operating costs per seat of any single-aisle airplane in its class. In addition, the 737-900 is the most fuel-efficient single-aisle jetliner in its class.
"The added passenger capacity and fuel efficiency are important, especially at a time when airlines are seeking to improve their financial bottom lines in the face of the highest fuel prices they have seen in years," Corvi said.
Every current model of the 737 family (737-600/-700/-800/-900) features all-new, more spacious interiors with more accessible overhead luggage bins, as well as the 737's legendary high dispatch reliability. The 737 models also have advanced flight decks featuring the latest large flat panel display technology - one that permits operators to configure the display for maximum commonality with existing fleets. The airplanes are designed to fly higher, faster, farther and quieter than previous 737 models and the competition.
The 737-900 will be the largest airplane in Alaska Airline's fleet.
Alaska Airlines intends to use its new fleet of 737-900s to accommodate passenger growth on the high-density West Coast markets. The airline will fly the plane on routes between Seattle and the cities of Anchorage, Alaska, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego. The new airplanes also present the opportunity for Alaska to add new markets to its current route system.
Three other airlines will add the 737-900 to their fleets this year. Continental Airlines will receive its first 737-900 later this month; KLM Royal Dutch Airlines takes delivery in late June; and Korean Airlines will receive its first in early November.
The 737 is the best selling commercial jetliner in history. To date, more than 3,900 737s have been delivered to more than 200 customers around the world.