I am currently at a hotel in Istanbul, Turkey and so far the trip to Rwanda has gone very well. Our flight leaving from Boeing Field ended up being delayed about six hours due to a power black out and computer issues for the bank in Africa. It turned out okay, since it gave us more time to check out the 737-800 (9XR-WF) on the ground and we were even rounded up and taken to a dive bar (Stellar Pizza for any of you locals) where the CEO or Rwanda Air, John Mirenge served us beer — right on.
The flight from Seattle to Keflavik, Iceland only took about 6hrs and 40minutes and after about a 2 hour layover for fuel, we were on our way to Istanbul. I got to test out the Boeing Sky Interior on a short flight from Seattle to Dallas with American Airlines, but I have to say I love it even more after spending about forteen hours with it now.
We rest in Istanbul tonight and tomorrow we are on our way to Kigali, Rwanda. Unfortunately this is one of those trips where I don’t get to go outside the airport or hotel, but I want to be well rested for Rwanda. Of course I will have a full report on the trip and plenty of photos later.
How does an airline get a plane made to fly only about 3,000 miles from Seattle, WA to Kigali, Rwanda? I am not really sure, but I bet it involves a lot of fuel stops. This Thursday, RwandAir is set to take delivery of their first Boeing 737-800 with Sky Interior. The airline isÂ very excited to operate the first Boeing aircraft with Sky Interior in Africa. The new interior option is a feature for 737s that gives it an updated look. I have previously had the opportunity to fly from Seattle to Dallas to check out the Sky Interior with American Airlines and was very impressed. Now, I will have the ability to experience the Sky Interior and RwandAir’s newest 737 for a bit longer, since I am lucky enough to be invited for the ride from Seattle to Rwanda.
The 737-800 will leave Boeing Field at about 11am on Thursday and we are supposed to land in Kigali sometime during Saturday. This is going to be a long flight for sure and one probably only an airline geek could love. What is it going to be like to ride in an airplane half way across the world that is designed to barely fly across the US? I am not sure, but I feel an adventure coming on.
At this point, I do not even know what route we will take. I am assuming we will fly over to the eastern side of the US, then over to Iceland and Greenland before getting to Europe. I know that we will be stopping in Istanbul, then down south to Rwanda. Anyone want to take a guess to the exact route (I will update this post with FlightAware tracking information when it is posted)?Â You better believe I will be taking a lot of photos and sharing some stories when I am done. Until then, I will be running some guest blogs and pre-written content.
American Airline's flight crew are ready to welcome guests to see the new Sky Interior at Boeing's delivery center at Boeing Field (BFI).
Yesterday American Airlines took delivery of their first Boeing 737-800 (N867NN) with the new Boeing Sky Interior. I feltÂ privilegedÂ to hitch a ride on the airplane during its delivery flight from Boeing Field to Dallas-Fort Worth with American and other invited guests.
Before getting outside to see the aircraft and interior we had to go through a little security. There was a conveyor belt and metal detector, but no requirement to remove shoes, laptops or put yourÂ toiletriesÂ in a ziploc bag — nice.
The aluminum fuselageÂ glistened in the sun outside Boeing’s delivery center waiting to fly passengers for the first time.Â After the ribbon was cut and photos were taken, it was time to check out the new Sky Interior first hand.
You have to love walking onto a brand spanking new plane and breathing that new-plane smell. There is something to be said about flying on a plane with only 21 other people (including the pilots) on its delivery flight from an airport that doesn’t see scheduled jet service.
Although I thought the ceiling lighting was going to be the most noticable aspect when entering the 737, I was actually first drawn to the new window openings and clean interior walls. Being an airline nerd, I spend a good chunk of my time staring out the window and this was a welcomed sight.
The Boeing Sky Interior on American's newest Boeing 737-800 (N867NN).
A combination of the larger window openings, blue lighting in the ceiling and new luggage bins, there really is a sense of space with the new Sky Interior. Boeing allows airlines to customize their lighting and American has pre-programmed the following:
* Boarding and de-boarding: blue top, white side lights
* Take off and landing: blue on top and blue on the side
* Cruise: wall lights are off, top is blue
* Night/Sleep: dark blue on the ceiling, wall lights are off
* Meal: Amber on top and side
* Sunrise/Sunset During Takeoff/Landing: Deep orange tones
On top of the nifty colors, the overhead bins have been improved to mimic the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s bins. They are larger and are able to hold more luggage (48 more bags to be exact in the 737-800). They also fold up into the ceiling to provide more cabin space. If you are 6’1″ you will still hit your head while standing, but those of shorter stature should have better luck.
Even though the windows are the same size in the fuselage, the new interior shows more of the window.
Probably moreÂ noticeableÂ to flight attendants, the call button has been moved away from the light buttons, helping to reduce the chance of a passenger trying to turn on their light, but instead hitting the call button.
The American interiors on the 737 are newer than other aircraft in their fleet and aren’t too bad, but after seeing the new interior, the standard interior looks a bit aged and cramped.
The new Boeing 737-800 with Sky Interior is part of American’s fleet renewal plan. Later in the week I will go into more detail on American Airline’s future plans to let customers know they mean business.
CHECK OUT ALL 30 PHOTOS FROM THE DELIVERY FLIGHT
Jin Air's livery on a Boeing 737-800
Air Jin was the hardest to find a good picture of their livery. I guess they are pretty new, starting in 2008, only fly to two destinations (Seoul and Bangkok) and they only have four Boeing 737-800’s. I think the extra work was worth the effort.
I really like the neon green with the teal and purple. They have a few butterflies on their website (careful, it seems to only like Internet Explorer) that matches quite well.
Jin Air is a low cost airline based in Korea and subsidiary of Korean Air.Â Although they currently have only 2 destinations, they are hoping to expand to Macau and Guam in the near future.
connect | web | twitter | facebook |
CEO Michael O'Leary really loves those Boeing 737's
Ryanair has announced they are breaking off negotiations with Boeing over purchasing 200 737-800â€™s. In early November I talked about how Ryanair was threatening to stop growth from not being able to reach an agreement with Boeing. The CEO of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary said the airline did come to an agreement, but Boeing is “unwilling to incorporate some other terms and conditions from our existing agreement into this new aircraft order,” Oâ€™Leary says. Of course O’Leary won’t elaborate what those details were.
Is this a real threat? I don’t think so. First off Ryanair already has a fleet of over 200 Boeing 737-800’s and is still planning on receiving over 100 more over the next three years. There is no way they are going to add another aircraft type or convert their entire fleet to Airbus. O’Leary also said he might be willing to re-open negotiations next year. Well, next year starts in about two weeks.
Ryanair is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world and it wants to continue its growth. Â Going after Aer Lingus isnâ€™t working out so hot for them, so they need more planes. I am sure Boeing knows this and isn’t going to let Ryanair bully them around. Boeing already has 152 orders for the Boeing 737 and has delivered 336 so far this year. Yes, another 200 would surely be a good thing but it is not like Boeing needs the orders to keep the 737 rolling.
follow | web | twitter | email | rss |