SINGAPORE - I’m at the air show and getting ready for my press briefing here. There’s a lot to talk about as always and I hope to fill you in as time permits.

Meantime, Boeing reached a pretty neat milestone just recently, that I couldn’t pass up telling you about.

Over the holiday break in December, at our Commercial Delivery Center at Boeing Field, two flight crews from Brazilian airline, GOL, boarded a pair of white and orange liveried Next-Generation 737-800s and jetted off to Brazil.

Why was that a milestone? The first of those two airplanes to depart was the 3,133rd Next-Generation 737 produced. That means that with that airplane, we have produced more Next-Generation 737s than all of the earlier 737 models combined.


A record-making Next-Generation 737 departs for Brazil.

We reached this “goal” in record time. 737 employees broke this record for Next-Generation 737s in just 12 years. It took 32 years to produce the same number of 737-100s, -200s, -300s, -400s and -500s.

And that’s just part of the story. When we delivered the very first Next-Generation 737, Boeing employees and suppliers embarked on a journey to continuously update this great airplane and produce it more efficiently. The result is that final assembly in Renton completes a 737 in just 10 days now, compared to 22 days earlier in the decade.

Boeing produces 31 Next-Generation 737s a month – better than an airplane a day - including weekends and holidays.

You’ve heard me say repeatedly that we are striving to always improve on the airplane we deliver to our customers – and we are still updating passenger comfort, and airplane performance and navigation. The Next-Generation 737 is lighter, consumes less fuel and releases fewer emissions. And it’s more economical to operate and maintain.

For example, 737s delivered between September 2008 and September 2009 have had so few technical issues that passengers on these airplanes left the airport gate on time 99.8% of the time. That’s great news for GOL, and the other 120 operators who fly the Next-Generation 737.


Two GOL Next-Generation 737-800s being prepared for delivery in December. The two airplanes departed within minutes of each other.

In the next few years, passengers will enjoy the new 737 Boeing Sky Interior, including those who fly with GOL - a launch customer for the new interior. It’s just one of several enhancements we announced last year, along with airframe and engine improvements that will reduce fuel consumption and emissions by a further 2%.

As I mentioned to reporters and analysts last month in Europe, and will no doubt talk about here at the Singapore Air Show, we’re in the initial stages of assessing the viability of a “re-engine” program for the Next-Generation 737 as part of our normal, on-going product development efforts. Clearly this is a hot topic of discussion in our industry right now, but while our initial assessment indicates that we do have the flexibility to re-engine the Next-Generation 737, we haven’t yet made a decision to move forward.

But getting back to the “goal” of this post, GOL also happens to be marking a big milestone, completing its ninth year of service this month. As GOL set out to make flying affordable for Brazilians, it increased its fleet size from six airplanes to 109! And they are all are Next-Generation 737s.

By the way, last year GOL joined the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group and GOL’s airplanes are being equipped with a GPS landing system and vertical situation display to help make takeoffs and landings more efficient.

Dare I say .. GOL!!

Comments (7)

P.Sumantri (France):

Randy says, "while our initial assessment indicates that we do have the flexibility to re-engine the Next-Generation 737, we haven’t yet made a decision to move forward"

Of course you're not in hurry to move forward. You do not need to rush. I also expressed my feeling about this 737 re-engining stuff in the entry "Exceptions" (click here) I posted in my blog last Friday.

Angel (Murcia (Spain)):

Thanks for the update Randy,

Congratulations for this great milestone, one new record for 737NG family. Golden words in Boeing history.

Best regards, Angel

Danny R. WALKER (Bonney Lake, WA, USA):

Score one for GOL !:>)
Score one for Boeing !:>)

Score one the the RENTON TEAM, World-wide Suppliers, support systems and all the employees of each company.

I am thrilled and delighted to have been a part of both the 737-300/400/500s design in the early 80s and then again with the 737 Next-Generation team in the early-mid 90s.

Seeing this "GOAL" milestone achieved is just simply amazing and in such short order. We are well on our way to 5,000 NGs and 10,000 737s overall. I can't wait to be and see a part of history happening once again.

The SCORE speaks for itself.

Adolfo (Hong Kong):

I suggest Boeing upgrade the B737 with an all composite
fuselage and wings like the B787.

Then hang 2 CFM LEAP engines or the PW GTF.

That will make it to the 22nd Century!

Happy Chinese New Year

Sérgio (Florianópolis - Santa Catarina - Brasil):

Congratulations Gol and Boeing.

Abdulrahman Mohamad (Kuala Lumpur Malaysia):

I am just next door but unable to travel.

Pretty exciting flying because I was almost to become a jet fighter pilot.

More interesting how it is like to sell one of those commercial planes. It can be a dream come true.

One day I hope to sell one of those. I hope you sell more planes during the air show. Best of luck.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

Congrats to GOL for making flying affordable in Brazil and for using the reliable 737 that will save money and require less time on the ground.

Wish I was in Singapore at the Air Show.

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