737 Number 7500 rolls out of the paint hangar destined for Malindo Air. Photo from Boeing
Today, the 7,500th 737 (9M-LNF) was delivered to Malindo Air. Malindo Air is a joint venture airline between Lion Air of Indonesia and the National Aerospace and Defense Industries (NADI) of Malaysia and the airline name takes after the two countries in the partnership (Malaysia & Indonesia).
Set to begin operations in May of this year, the airline will receive 12 737-900ERs with plans to increase this number in the future. Based out of Kuala Lumpur the airline will service domestic flights within Malaysia to begin and expand to other South East Asian Countries.
Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India Sales, Commercial Airplanes cuts the ribbon with Capt. Darsito Hendro S., chief operating officer of Malindo Air to celebrate the delivery. Photo: Boeing
The aircraft delivered to Malindo air is fitted with the new Boeing Sky Interior which brings in the new modern designed interior similar to the Boeing 787 with LED lighting, larger pivoting overhead bins and a greater feeling of spaciousness.
This is a far cry from the first 737, which was delivered to Lufthansa in 1967.
The Economy Cabin of the Malindo 737-900ER – Photo: Boeing
To help fulfill the back log of orders, Boeing has recently increased their production of 737s from 35 per month to 38, heading towards the 2014 goal of 42 – that’s roughly 1.3 aircraft per day.
Boeing has been able to up this production rate by redesigning their process and changing the way the aircraft are produced on site in Renton.
Malindo Air’s 737-900ER prior to touching down at Everett during a test flight – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter,com
The production increase is timed well. On the 19th, Boeing signed another large order with Ryanair for another 175 Boeing 737NG aircraft putting the backlog up even higher.
Think Boeing can end up delivering 18,000 aircraft someday? 7500 aircraft down, only 10500 to go!
||This story written by…Malcolm Muir, Lead Correspondent. Mal is an Australian Avgeek now living and working in Seattle. With a passion for aircraft photography, traveling and the fun that combining the two can bring. Insights into the aviation world with a bit of a perspective thanks to working in the travel industry.@BigMalX | BigMal’s World | Photos
A little after 5:00am EST this morning, Boeing let the cat out of the bag: Ryanair is set to order 175 Boeing 737-800′s, which is the largest Boeing airplane order in Europe to date. Although an impressive order, the news was surely not breaking, since rumors of the order have been circulating for a while.
“This agreement is an amazing testament to the value that the Next-Generation 737 brings to Ryanair,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Ray Conner. “We are pleased that the Next-Generation 737, as the most efficient, most reliable large single-aisle airplane flying today, has been and will continue to be the cornerstone of the Ryanair fleet. Our partnership with this great European low-cost carrier is of the utmost importance to everyone at The Boeing Company and I could not be more proud to see it extended for years to come.”
BONUS: The five stages passengers go through when flying ultra low-cost carriers
Currently, Ryanair operates a fleet of over 300 737-800′s and it is expected that these new aircraft will help them expand their operations. When asked if Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, if there were plans for long haul operations, he stated, “I don’t see an opportunity for the next two to three years.” In proper O’Leary style (who is not known to act like your typical CEO), stated that he was, “drunk at the time,” when asked how much he spent on the price of the aircraft.
When O’Leary was asked why New York City was chosen as the location of the announcement, he jokingly replied it was to help divert attention from the 787 within the US. He then clarified that about 50% of the airline’s shareholders are located on the east coast of the US. O’Leary stated he was planning on attending a few shareholder meetings to assure folks that the airline is not planing to start growing like “gangbusters,” and that they plan to have a more controlled growth.
This order also means that the Boeing 737NG will continue to be produced next to the 737 MAX for quite sometime. “As today’s announcement demonstrates, there is still significant demand for the Next-Generation 737,” Linda Lee, 737 Program Communications explained to AirlineReporter.com. “This demand is the reason we decided to boost production rates to 42 per month starting the 2nd quarter of 2014.”
Yesterday, Boeing had sent out notification of the announcement today and there was quite a bit of speculation, but now we know. We were hoping for something a bit more glitzy. I mean even, seeing the Ryanair logo on the new MAX winglet would be more exciting. I guess overall this is good news for both Boeing and Airbus right? Where an order for 175 airplanes from one airline just isn’t as exciting as it used to be?
David Parker Brown and Jason Rabinowitz contributed to this story. Also catch additional background information on Airchive.com.
TWITTER PHOTOS FROM THE RYANAIR 737 PRESS CONFERENCE:
A Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental on the factory floor in Everett.
I love a good mystery. Today Boeing sent out a media advisory saying that tomorrow there will be an event in New York City to, “announce a significant airplane purchase agreement.” Now, what could this be?
The release does not say much, but gives away two interesting details. First, it will be held at a very nice hotel. I don’t want to name the exact hotel, but if I were to try and get a room there tomorrow, the cheapest is over $600.00 and the Penthouse is about $10,000. Not your Motel 6.
Also Ray Conner, President and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes will be at the announcement as well. He doesn’t really show up to many order announcements, so this is something special.
So who will be the airline and what aircraft will they be ordering? Some of my thoughts:
- The venue is nice. I think this eliminates most low cost carriers, at least those in the US. Actually, I would be surprised if this was a US carrier at all. The only US carrier, who would be making a Boeing purchase and announcing in NYC I could see is Delta. But my bet is a foreign carrier.
- My guess is the order will be significant. Either with the number of planes or aircraft type. There have been some pretty large numbers of 737 orders already and it would probably need to be significant for this sort of announcement.
- Honestly, I hope that it is an order for the 747-8 Intercontinental — especially from a US carrier. There haven’t been very many and additional orders would call for celebration.
- I wouldn’t see this being an order for the 787 Dreamliner. It is still a sore topic and not currently flying.
- I think the Boeing 737 MAX is a great airplane, but no offense, the order announcements are not as exciting anymore. I am kind of hoping for a different aircraft type.
- A MAX order from JetBlue (who is based in NYC) would excite me, but I do not see that happening.
- Could this be a combo? Boeing could officially announce the 777X and the first airline to order it? It seems a bit early, but it would take some attention away from the 787 and help to move Boeing forward.
Stay tuned. @AirlineFlyer will be reporting for @AirlineReporter in New York City tomorrow and follow both Twitter accounts for the announcement. The event is set to start at 10:15am EST. Until then…
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Who do you think the airline will be? What aircraft will they order? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Update: Reuters is reporting that they are hearing Ryanair will announce an order for 150 Boeing 737 NG’s tomorrow. Sure, great for Boeing to keep their 737NG (which is still a great plane) line going. Also would be good for Ryanair to finally be able to add more aircraft and routes, but I hope that this is not the announcement. Just not very exciting or sexy — give me some wide bodies here.
Also, the location of a posh hotel does not make sense for Ryanair, since they want to be seen as an ultra low-cost carrier. The biggest question for me is: Why New York City? Now, if they are announcing the 737 order and plans to fly to NYC, then I am interested for sure.
I am going to say that I do not think Ryanair will be involved with tomorrow’s announcement.
Update2: And I was wrong (hey it happens). A bit after 2am PST, Boeing sent out a press release giving a large preview of their announcement.
Ryanair Boeing 737 seen in Seattle before delivery. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren.
If you cover the airline world, you probably know the name, Stephen McNamara. He is the crazy (or pure genius) PR person behind Ryanair. I was shocked to recently read that he will be leaving Ryanair and heading over to Rugby Football Union as their Director of Communications.
You see, I have a special place in my heart for Mr. McNamara. He is well known as being elusive to many in the aviation journalism biz and I was extremely privileged to have him email me about some “mis-information” a while back. Him leaving has stirred up the memories and I wanted to reminisce.
It all started with me writing a story way back on March 10th 2010 about Ryanair stranding some passengers. The story showed up on my blog, but also on my Seattle PI syndication. This is where Mr. McNamara found my story and strongly disagreed with what he read. He wrote directly to the Seattle PI, but since they have no editorial control over my content, the email was forwarded to me. Mr. McNamara did not like that the Seattle PI was not able to change my story.
“Your answer is less than satisfactory and it is a damming indictment of the Seattlepi.com that you would allow clearly incorrect and biased information appear and remain on your site – brushing this off as an issue for the publisher is simply rubbish – it is on your site, you are the publisher,” McNamara stated in his response to the PI (see his full reply here). Even at this early stage in my blogging career, I knew I was on to some gold-standard material.
BONUS: The five stages passengers go through when flying ultra low-cost carriers — like Ryanair
Stephen McNamara, currently head of PR for Ryanair.
I decided to write him back. I truly don’t want to be writing wrong information and was happy to update my story. Although he stated that he doesn’t “have the time (or resources) to correct the errors most bloggers come up with,” McNamara gave me a very long winded reply email correcting my mistakes. His reply was filled with even better material and I questioned if I should share his entire email or just give a summary. Knowing Ryanair loves the negative attention and the fact that the message was just too good not to share, I made the decision to copy and paste.
If the same thing would happen today, I probably wouldn’t make the same move, but there are benefits to being a lesser known blogger.
Don’t get me wrong here… I have tremendous respect for Ryanair and Mr. McNamara. The crazy ideas they have come up with, just to get free publicity, have been pure genius. The fact that so many journalists around the world pick up the stories as fact has been hilarious.
Passengers and media love to hate this airline, but their business model of extreme ala-cart pricing and laughable headlines getting them free publicity has made them one of the most successful airlines.
It is amusing to me that some headings (example one and two) stated that working as head of Ryanair PR is the worst PR job in the world (well, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary actually said it first). I think I have to disagree a bit. Where else can you come up with stories, like offering standing seats only, banning kids from flights, requiring passengers to pay for toilets or state you are looking at only having one pilot instead of two in each plane and have media around the world eat up your story and give your company publicity? That sounds like a pretty rad PR job to me.
So, Mr. McNamara, I salute you and the work you have done at Ryanair. I hope your replacement is as equally entertaining and able to provide high-end content for little ‘ol bloggers like me. The fact that I have traveled the world to cover different airline and travel stories, but our interaction over two and a half years ago is still one of my favorite all-time stories says something. I wish you the best of luck.
NOTE: I will be emailing Mr. McNamara with a link to this story hoping to get some sort of comment. If so, I will update the story. I wouldn’t hold your breath, but it is the giving season right?
||This story written by… David Parker Brown, Editor & Founder.
David started AirlineReporter.com in the summer of 2008, but has had a passion for aviation since he was a kid. Born and raised in the Seattle area (where he is currently based) has surely had an influence and he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.
@AirlineReporter | Flickr | YouTube
Bombardier's Cseries located in Montreal, Quebec -- tres bon!
After spending the day with Bombardier recently to learn about their new CSeries, the biggest thing I pulled away that you, the passenger will care the most about is SPACE — lots of it. This is the interior that many passengers have been begging for and they are finally going to get it. All the time , I hear people asking for wider seats, more room, etc. But really, what airline is going to take a Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 and go from six seats across to five? (hint: none). The CSeries is designed to provide that extra space that passengers want, but not the additional weight that costs the airlines more money. Bombardier has built enough width into their new CSeries to give passengers extra room, but not enough for airlines to fit in additional seats.
The cabin of the CSeries is set up in a 2-3 layout for economy and 2-2 layout for first class. Personally, I have always loved this layout on the DC-9/MD-80/Boeing 717 aircraft. If you are flying with someone, it gives you the chance for you two to sit together on the two side and not be bothered by a third person. A big downside of those older aircraft was the noise level in the back of the plane from the engines being rear mounted. That won’t be a problem with the CSeries, since the engines are wing-mounted.
Some readers on my Facebook pointed out that having a wider seat is not something new. Piedmont Airlines did it, but it surely has been a long while and really this comes from the design of the aircraft, not from an airline deciding to make the middle seat wider.
There is plenty of width in the new Bombardier CSeries. Image from Bombardier.
The interior is designed so that most economy seats have 18.5″ width — except the middle seat which is 19″. Now, this just blew my mind… the middle seat is actually 1/2″ wider than the other seats on the plane. How genius is that? Not only that, but a standard 18.5″ width for a short haul seat is great. Many airlines run wide-body, long haul flights with only 18″ or even 17″.
Now, I know what you are all thinking, “Yea right. Bombardier might design the aircraft with space, but airlines will find ways to use that space to fit in as many seats as possible.” Well, do not worry, that will not be the case. First off, there is about half a seat width (from an average aircraft) of extra space built into the plane. If you do the math and an airline puts the aisle to 18″, that would mean each seat would be 15.8″ and that just is not going to happen. Plus, the plane is designed to hold so many passengers with the emergency exits given, so even if an airline made impossibly thin seats, most of them would have to remain empty.
Although seat width will be pretty standard, airlines will have choice with what seat pitch they want to offer. The CSeries mock up in Montreal has the rows set up with different examples from 32″ to 28″. Let me say that at 6’1″, I really hope no airline opts for the 28″ seat pitch on any airplane — ever.
The windows are quite large on the new CSeries, providing more natural light and shoulder room.
The CSeries will sport larger windows than its competition, allowing more natural light and a bit more shoulder room. The CSeries will have windows measuring 11×16″, which are about the size you would find on a Boeing 777.
If you choose a window seat, rest assured, you will actually get a window. How annoying is it to get to your window seat and see a solid wall with no window? Bombardier designed the CSeries so that each row would have at least one window. Not only does this provide great spotting opportunities, it also allows more natural light into the cabin.
At this point, it appears that each window will have a traditional sun shade and not the electronic ones found on the 787 Dreamliner. The reason is this is a smaller aircraft, running shorter hops than the 787 and the extra cost really did not make sense. Like the Dreamliner, the CSeries will also have LED lighting that can change color based on what the airline customer might want.
The aircraft is set to compete directly with the Airbus A318 and A319, the Boeing 737-600 / 737-700, and the Embraer E-195. Bombardier is also hoping those airlines that operate DC-9s and MD-80 aircraft (I am talking to you American and Delta Air Lines) might want to update their fleet with the CSeries.
A look at the CSeries 100 and CSeries 300 in this computer mock up from Bombardier.
When designing the CSeries, Bombardier decided to use an aluminum alloy for the fuselage and composite wings. “For the fuselage we performed trade-off analyses, involving airlines in the process, between composite and advanced aluminum design options,” Sebastien Mullot, CSeries Program Director at Bombardier, explained to AirlineReporter.com. “It turned out that the weight gain in the composite option was not as important as in other composite parts (e.g wing) and airlines drew our attention to the fact that this weight gain might be offset by the additional costs that could be incurred on the maintenance side.”
Since the CSeries will be a high-cycle aircraft, there is a much higher chance that the aircraft will be damaged during normal operations. Currently, repairing composite aircraft requires special equipment and procedures, which would have increased operational costs and complexity for airlines. The aluminum alloy used on the CSeries is a aluminum-lithium hybrid that is lighter than traditional aluminum and still can be repaired easily. For now, it seemed to be a perfect fit for what the CSeries will be doing.
The mock up for the CSeries has different seat pitches for each row. You can see that some have fake entertainment screens as well.
Bombardier is confident that the CSeries will have its first flight before the end of the year. When I asked about potential delays, they stated that they had built-in time for potential delays and unlike other aircraft manufacturers, they have been outsourcing part of their aircraft production for a very long time and are well experienced. They have already been able to work out the kinks and problems from experiences learned with previous aircraft and have not seen the issues that other companies have (ie Boeing and Airbus).
The company hopes that the CSeries will be a complete package for airlines, passengers, crew and the environment. “In an challenging economic environment, airlines have been seeking to grow their average aircraft size in a race to improve their cost efficiency,” Mullot explained. “This aircraft will also be the only single-aisle aircraft to meet 21st century operating requirements: improving flight crew situational awareness, meeting new air traffic control needs and dramatically reducing airlines’ environmental footprint!”
One interesting fact is that we do not know who the launch customer for the CSeries will be. That customer has asked to remain secret and Bombardier is not talking. I am hoping it will be a game changer like Southwest, Ryanair or EasyJet who all operate single aircraft type, but it likely will not be that exciting.
OTHER CSERIES STUFF YOU MUST CHECK OUT:
* All 17 photos of the CSeries mockup in Montreal
* Video of the second mock up by Simpliflying