LONG BEACH, June 18, 2002 - The Boeing Company [NYSE:BA] delivered its 100th 717 jetliner during a special ceremony today at the company`s final assembly facility at Long Beach, Calif.
“I congratulate the 717 team . . . you`re way ahead of the competition by delivering 100 superior airplanes while the competition is still in development,” said Jim Jamieson, executive vice president of Airplane Programs at Boeing. “Your world-class performance helps to make the 717 a real winner.”
The 100th production airplane went to launch customer AirTran Airways, bringing the carrier`s 717 fleet to 37 airplanes, with 13 additional deliveries scheduled this year.
“We are pleased to take delivery of this Boeing 717,” said Joe Leonard, chairman and chief executive officer of AirTran, which provides daily departures to 38 destinations in the United States. “It`s a fantastic airplane, and passengers frequently call and tell us to put them on a 717.”
Leonard said the 717 is 24 percent more fuel efficient than its DC-9s.
“With its lower operating costs, excellent reliability and overwhelming passenger acceptance, the 717 plays a key role in keeping costs low at AirTran,” he said.
In addition to AirTran, other customers present at the event included Bavaria International Leasing, Hawaiian Airlines, Midwest Express Airlines and QantasLink. A number of 717 supplier-partners also were on hand to celebrate the program milestone. Among them were Alenia, Honeywell and Rolls-Royce.
Midwest Express, the newest 717 customer, takes delivery of its first airplane in February 2003. It has ordered 25 airplanes with 25 options.
The Boeing 717, designed for airline profitability, is the best selling airplane in the 100-seat market, with a total of 162 orders and 112 other customer commitments. The 717 is being operated on four continents by seven airlines.
“The journey to get to the number 100 airplane has been challenging,” said Jim Phillips, vice president of the 717 program, during the celebration. “But we have achieved this milestone by working together as a team. Now it`s time to press on to number 200 and beyond.”