Continental will become the first airline in the Americas and the first two-class carrier to operate Boeing’s newest and largest-capacity member of the Next-Generation 737 family, the—900ER. Continental converted orders for 12 Next-Generation 737s to the new 737-900ER model. Boeing will deliver Continental’s first 737-900ER in 2008. Last month Continental Airlines ordered an undisclosed mix of 24 Next-Generation 737s along with 10 787 Dreamliners.
“The 737-900ER will support Continental’s growth with the excellent economics, reliability and range of the Next-Generation 737 family and provide greater capacity than the 737-800,” said Ray Conner, vice president, Sales, the Americas, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 737-900ER will provide these important enhancements on routes up to 3,200 nautical miles (5,900 km).”
The 737-900ER will have substantial economic advantages over competing models, including 9 percent lower operating costs per trip and 7 percent lower operating costs per seat than the A321—which is more than 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg) heavier.
“The superior economics of the 737-900ER build upon the substantial benefits of the 737 Next-Generation family,” said Larry Kellner, Continental’s chairman and CEO. “The flight crew, maintenance and spare parts commonality this aircraft shares with the rest of the Next-Generation 737 family will help enable us to fly this aircraft at one of the lowest operating costs in our fleet.”
Aerodynamic and structural design changes to the 737-900ER include: strengthened wings, a two-position tailskid and enhancements to the leading and trailing-edge flap systems, which provide the 737-900ER higher takeoff weight capability and increased range than the base model. Continental’s 737- 900ERs will further benefit from optional Blended Winglets, which reduce fuel consumption and engine thrust requirements—resulting in reduced engine wear and tear, lower takeoff noise and lower fuel emissions.
Launched in July 2005, the 737-900ER joins the 737-600, -700 and -800 airplanes and will share the same industry-leading reliability of the other Next-Generation 737 series models. The Next-Generation 737s are 10 years newer and fly higher, faster and farther than competing models. To date, 99 customers have placed orders for more than 3,300 Next-Generation 737s.
Continental Airways has also been nominated this year for a
World Travel Award as North America’s Leading Airline.