NEW YORK: Boeing Co said on Tuesday it had launched the longest-range-ever version of its best selling 737 passenger jet, thanks to an order from Japan's All Nippon Airways Co.
The No. 2 Japanese airline ordered the 737-700ER by converting two existing orders for standard 737-700s, Boeing said. The new jet can fly up to 5,510 nautical miles with optional fuel tanks and blended winglets.
That kind of range would allow a non-stop flight from Tokyo to Brussels or from Brussels to San Francisco, said Boeing spokeswoman Sandy Angers.
The jet, which would carry 126 people in a two-class configuration, is based on the existing Boeing Business Jet, which is already being used by Lufthansa on some routes between the United States and Germany.
The latest 737 derivative, the first of which will be delivered in early 2007, had a list price of between US$57mil and US$62mil, Angers said.
Boeing has kept sales strong for the 737, which began commercial service in 1968, by introducing various new versions of the aircraft, which is a mainstay of the fleets of low-cost carriers like Southwest Airlines Co and Ireland's Ryanair.
Boeing said there were more than 1,130 orders for the 737s with a backlog worth about US$69bil at current list prices.
Boeing and European archrival Airbus typically sell jets at a substantial discount to the list price. – Reuters