A new version of the best-selling 737 narrow-body jet family will enter service in 2007. It will carry up to 215 passengers, almost as many...

Share story

A new version of the best-selling 737 narrow-body jet family will enter service in 2007. It will carry up to 215 passengers, almost as many as the now out-of-production 757-200.


Boeing formally launched the new 737-900ER yesterday, citing a $2 billion list-price order for 30 of the jets from Indonesian low-cost carrier Lion Air. That order had been previously announced in May, when the jet was referred to as the 737-900X. The airline also took options to buy 30 more of the jets later.


Though the 900ER is the same size as the existing 737-900 model, two additional exit doors will mean it is permitted to carry an extra 26 passengers.


The new airplane also has stronger wings and landing gear that will increase the base range to 2,825 nautical miles, or 3,060 nautical miles with two optional extra fuel tanks. The ER in the model designation stands for “extended range.”


The list price of the new derivative is $66.5 million to $77 million.


In a teleconference with reporters, 737 chief project engineer Mike Delaney said yesterday that Boeing has seen most interest in the 737-900ER from low-fare carriers and charter-tour operators, who typically want maximum seating capacity.


He said there is also sales interest from mainstream carriers, who may choose to deactivate the two new doors. That would limit seating to 189 passengers but still provide extra range.


Final assembly work in Renton on the first of the new jets will begin next spring. The first two off the production line will go through five months of flight tests.



African order for Boeing



TAAG Angola Airlines yesterday announced a firm order for two 777-200ER and four 737-700 airplanes, worth $650 million at list prices.


TAAG also took options on one additional 777-200ER and two 737-700s.


In winning the order, Boeing worked with TAAG to ensure that Angola’s aviation authority met international safety requirements. Boeing will consult with Angola’s national airport authorities to improve the domestic airport’s infrastructure.


Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or dgates@seattletimes.com