The Next-Generation

In the midst of everything else that’s going on, I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to show you some photos from a great event a few weeks ago with a great Boeing customer.

Alaska Airlines has completed a transition to an all-Boeing 737 fleet. At Sea-Tac Airport they celebrated the final flight of their last MD-80, and ushered in a new era with a just-delivered Next-Generation 737-800 in a special Boeing/Alaska Airlines livery.


Side by side with the MD-80, the newly delivered and specially painted Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800 airplane, dubbed the “Spirit of Seattle” in tribute to the airline’s now all-737 fleet and their unique hometown partnership with Boeing.

Alaska says their 737-800s use 800 gallons of fuel per hour, versus 1,100 gallons per hour used by the MD-80. They estimate a 20-30% savings in fuel burn. And another key point: the common fleet type will also mean lower costs for operations and maintenance, training and flight crew scheduling. It also pays dividends in terms of fleet reliability and passenger experience.

But Alaska is not alone in their admiration for the 737-800. In fact in the just released annual Airfinance Journal Aircraft Investors’ and Operators’ Poll, the 737-800 was voted best airplane, period.

The 737-800 was voted number one in overall aircraft type, number one in investor appeal, number one in residual value, and number one in re-marketing potential. Not bad for an airplane that’s been in operation for only ten years now.

That’s right. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the Next-Generation 737 is the newest airplane in the 100-200 seat segment. It entered service in 1998 – 10 years after the A320.

As the Airfinance Poll results indicate, investors and operators are continuing to realize cost savings by investing in fuel-efficient, Next-Generation 737 airplanes. And as Alaska Airlines might tell you, those savings can really pay off.

Comments (8)

BWJones (SLC, Utah):

It will be interesting to see how Delta airlines deals with the Northwest merger and the costs associated with flying a model of every commercial aircraft currently flying. That is an expensive proposition from a number of perspectives from gate fees and maintenance all the way up to operation.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

I am glad to hear about Alaska Airlines satisfaction
with the 737-800, I am sure American, Continental, Delta, Ryanair, Qantas, and other large users can attest to the same satisfaction, though I am hart-heavy to see the MD-80 go a little before it's time, I am glad that Alaska is satisfied with it's 737 and can reap it's benefits in times like these.

I think the 737-800 will dominate the next decade as it did this decade, already some airlines are planing like Ryanair are planing to replace their oldest 737-800's with newer 737-800's. I am sure Alaska will order additional 737-800's to replace the 737-400 later on in the future.

In semi related news, I was glad to hear that the Boeing hanger east of Lakewood Blvd. across the street from the airport in Long Beach is going to be a movie sound stage studio, though it's not the same as a return to aircraft production, this will create jobs in the area and save studios money by not having to go 10,000 miles to "shoot on location".

Karen Addicks (Seattle):

I am curious how the 737 compares to the A320 in fuel economy.

John Marshall (Kent, WA):

If a 787 type engine was available for the 737, how would the fuel savings compare?

In other words, what might roughly be the efficiency difference between the two engines?

Miyuru aka K Flyer (Sri Lanka):

I love 737 !

Ron Bresher (Everett, Wash. 98208):

As well as a big savings on fuel burn percentages the B737-800 also typically seats approx. 20 more passengers than the MD-80 on most seating configurations. This also boosts the seat mile costs for airlines revenue.

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

Congratulations on the American Airlines 787 announcement. That's an important deal for the airline industry of North America, for American Airlines, for Boeing, and, for employees right down to floor cleaners at both companies.

Here's to seeing the deal through, and to the completion of that awesome new bird!

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

Congrats on American Airlines forty-two orders for the 787-9 and the option-total for one-hundred. The 787's will be useful in all the international destinations that American Airlines serves.

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