Boeing and Malaysia Airlines celebrated the direct delivery of the airline’s 75th 737 aircraft during an event at Boeing Field, Wash.
The airplane, a Next-Generation 737-800, is scheduled to arrive in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Aug. 8.
“The 737 has been an amazing airplane for our airline,” said Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, chief executive officer of Malaysia Airlines. “When we took off on our own as Malaysia’s national airline on 1 October 1972, our inaugural jet flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore was operated using the 737. Since then this aircraft has been a very reliable workhorse for both our domestic and regional operations. We continue to be impressed by the 737’s consistent reliability, unmatched economics and innovation in passenger comfort.”
The airplane comes with the 787 Dreamliner-inspired Boeing Sky Interior, which features larger pivoting overhead stowage bins, larger window reveals and LED lighting to enhance the sense of spaciousness. Malaysia Airlines was the Asia launch customer for the Boeing Sky Interior in October 2010.
Malaysia Airlines took delivery of its first 737 in 1972 and has operated the 737-200, 737-300, 737-400, 737-500 and 737-800.
“We’re proud of our 40 years of partnership with Malaysia’s leading airline,” said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With its new five star Skytrax rating and award for best cabin crew, passengers will have a first-class in-flight experience on board their brand new 737.”
The Next-Generation 737 family has won more than 6,600 orders and has a diverse backlog exceeding 2,600 airplanes. Malaysia Airlines has an additional 35 737s on order.
With more than 5,550 airplanes in service, the 737 family represents more than a quarter of the total worldwide fleet of large commercial jets flying today. More than 358 airlines in 114 countries fly 737s.
Malaysia Airlines initially ordered six Boeing 737-200s to kick start its operations on 1 October 1972. The first of six aircraft arrived in Malaysia on 23 July 1972.
By 1987, a total of 13 737-200s were in the airline’s fleet. Subsequently a total of 52 737s from the -300, -400 and -500 series were introduced into the airline’s network between 1992 and 1995.
On 31 March 2008, Malaysia Airlines announced its decision to purchase the Next-Generation 737-800 with a firm order for 35 airplanes and a further purchase option for 20 such aircraft.
The first 737-800 arrived in Kuala Lumpur in November 2010, and on 21 June 2011 the airline exercised its option to purchase another 10 737-800s.
To date, Malaysia Airlines has taken delivery of ten of the 45 737-800s through direct purchase. The latest delivery in August 2012 makes it the 75th 737 delivered to Malaysia Airlines over the 40 years.