Featured article: Boeing 737
The Boeing 737NG (Next Generation) series is a group of narrowbody jetliners produced by Boeing.
The 737-600 is the direct replacement of the 737-500 and competes with the Airbus A318. It is the only Boeing 737 still in production that does not include winglets as an option. WestJet was to be the Boeing launch customer for the 737-600 winglets, but announced in their Q2 2006 results that they were not going to move ahead with those plans. The 737-600 was launched by Scandinavian Airlines System in 1995 with the first aircraft delivered on 18 September 1998. A total of 69 -600s have been delivered with no further announced unfilled orders as of 2009.
The 737-700 was the first of the Next Generation series launched when launch customer Southwest Airlines ordered the variant in November 1993. The variant was based on the 737-300 and entered service in 1998. It replaced the 737-300 in Boeing's lineup, and its direct competitor is the Airbus A319. It typically seats 137 passengers in a two class cabin or 149 in all economy configuration.
A total of 1522 -700s have been ordered with 999 of those having been delivered as of September 4th, 2009.
Boeing launched the 737-700ER on January 31, 2006. All Nippon Airways is the launch customer, with the first one of five 737-700ER’s delivered on February 16, 2007. The 737-700ER is a mainline passenger version of the BBJ1 and 737-700IGW. It combines the 737-700 fuselage with the wings and landing gear of a 737-800. It will offer a range of 5,510 nautical miles (10,200 kilometers), with seating for 126 passengers in a traditional 2-class configuration. A competitor to this model would be the A319LR. The 737-700ER has the second longest range for a 737 after the BBJ2. The 737-700ER is inspired by the Boeing Business Jet and is designed for long-range commercial applications. It is able to fly transatlantic services such as Flyglobespan services from Glasgow to Boston.
All Nippon Airways, Japan’s second-biggest carrier, is to pioneer the model in Asia with a daily service between Tokyo and Mumbai. ANA’s service, believed to be the first all-business class route connecting to a developing country, was to start in September 2007 and use a Boeing 737-700ERs outfitted with 38 (38 Club ANA) and 48 (24 Club ANA/24 Economy) in four-across seats configuration and an extra fuel tank.
The 737-700C is a convertible version where the seats can be removed from the plane to carry cargo. There is a large door on the left side of the aircraft. The US Navy was the launch customer for the 737-700C under the military designation C-40 Clipper. A total of 12 -700C's have been ordered and delivered with no further orders as of September, 2009
The 737-800 is a stretched version of the 737-700, and replaces the 737-400 in Boeing's lineup. It also filled the gap left by Boeing's discontinuation of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and MD-90 after Boeing's merger with McDonnell Douglas. The -800 was launched by Hapag-Lloyd Flug (now TUIfly) in 1994 and entered service in 1998. The 737-800 seats 162 passengers in a two class layout, or 189 in one class, and competes with the Airbus A320. For many airlines in the U.S., the 737-800 replaced aging Boeing 727-200 trijets.
The 737-800 is also among the models replacing the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and MD-90 series aircraft in airline service; it burns 850 gallons of jet fuel per hour, or about 80% of the fuel needed by an MD-80 on a comparable flight, even while carrying more passengers than the latter. According to the Airline Monitor, an industry publication, a 737-800 burns 4.88 gallons of fuel per seat per hour. Alaska Airlines replaced the MD-80 with the 737-800, saving $2,000 per flight, assuming jet fuel prices of $4 per gallon. The fuel cost of each such flight (2008 prices) on a 737-800 is about $8,500.00. For example, on 14 August 2008, American Airlines announced 26 orders for the 737-800 (20 are exercised options from previously signed contracts and six are new incremental orders) as well as accelerated deliveries.
A total of 1689 -800s have been delivered as of September, 2009 with a further 1416 on order.
Boeing later introduced the 737-900, the longest variant to date. Because the -900 retains the same exit configuration of the -800, seating capacity is limited to 177 seats in two classes, or 189 in a single-class layout. Alaska Airlines launched the 737-900 in 1997 and accepted delivery on May 15, 2001. The 737-900 also retains the MTOW and fuel capacity of the -800, trading range for payload. These shortcomings until recently prevented the 737-900 from effectively competing with the Airbus A321.
Only 52 -900s have been ordered and delivered with no current orders for the variant.
The 737-900ER, which was called the 737-900X prior to launch, is the newest addition and the largest variant of the Boeing 737 line and was introduced to meet the range and passenger capacity of the discontinued 757-200 and to directly compete with the Airbus A321.
An additional pair of exit doors and a flat rear pressure bulkhead increase seating capacity to 180 passengers in a 2-class configuration or 215 passengers in a single-class layout. Additional fuel capacity and standard winglets improve range to that of other 737NG variants.
The first 737-900ER was rolled out of the Renton, Washington factory on August 8, 2006 for its launch customer, Lion Air. Lion Air received this aircraft on April 27, 2007 in a special dual paint scheme combining the Lion Air lion on the vertical stabilizer and the Boeing livery colors on the fuselage.
A total of 59 -900ERs have been delivered with 181 unfilled orders as of September 2009.