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.