Score Another One For All-Time Best-Selling Airliner
The record-breaking Boeing 737 -- an aircraft that almost didn't
make it past its first few years of production due to niggling
problems and sluggish sales -- just set a new milestone likely to
remain in the books for a long while. With an order for 10 737-800s
from Xiamen Airlines, total orders for the all-time, best-selling
737 have surpassed the 6,000 mark.
Citing Wednesday’s Xiamen Airlines order -- and taking
into account subsequent orders from as-yet unidentified customers
(something Boeing does often) -- the total order count for 737s of
all types, Initial through Next-Generation, is 6,025. No other jet
airplane in commercial aviation history has achieved the sales
success of the 737.
"This is an amazing milestone that reflects how much our
customers appreciate the 737’s technology, efficiency, safety
and profit-making capability," said Alan Mulally, Boeing Commercial
Airplanes president and chief executive officer. "We are especially
pleased to have Xiamen as the customer for this historic order,
which also is a testament to our approach to designing and building
the airplanes airlines want and that will deliver value to them for
many, many years."
Xiamen Airlines is
scheduled to take delivery of its 737-800s beginning mid-2006. The
airplanes will be equipped with performance-boosting Blended
"This order allows us to simplify our fleet with the most
cost-efficient and superior-performance airplane in its class,"
said Yang Guanghua, president, Xiamen Airlines. "The Boeing
737 will help us meet our goal of reducing operating costs and
increasing return on investment for our shareholders. Additionally,
with its passenger-pleasing interior, the new 737s will carry our
customers in utmost comfort on all our domestic routes."
To date, 3,132 models of the "Initial" (-100 and -200, file
photo of type at right) and "Classic" (-300 through -500) families,
and 2,893 of the newer, redesigned Next-Generation 737 series (-600
through -900ER, file photo below) have been sold.
Established 21 years ago, Xiamen Airlines was the first local
airline company in the People’s Republic of China. Its two
shareholders are China Southern Airlines Company Limited and Xiamen
C & D Corporation Limited, with 60 percent and 40 percent
shares respectively. The airline currently operates an all-Boeing
fleet of 25 737s and nine 757-200s on more than 100 domestic and
international routes with Xiamen, Jinjiang, Wuyishan, Hangzhou and
Nanchang as its main hubs.
The carrier has operated all three generations of the 737,
starting with the 737-200. It currently operates Classic 737-300s
and 737-500s and Next-Generation 737-700s.