Boeing has delivered four Next-Generation 737-900ER (Extended Range) to Indonesian carrier Lion Air in December and has announced another order for the popular 737-800, this time from Réunion-based Air Austral.
Lion Air will deploy its latest 737-900ERs to increase frequencies on existing routes and to replace older aircraft in its fleet.
Lion Air, a Jakarta-based, privately owned carrier in Indonesia which has ordered 100 737-900ERs, is the launch customer of the 737-900ER. The airline operates an all-Boeing fleet, which includes MD-80s, MD-90s and 747s. It has a fleet of 41 737s, including 737 Classics and Next-Generation models.
Boeing values Air Austral’s order for two Next-Generation 737-800s at $152 million at list prices. The two 737-800s will be the airline’s first of the type, replacing one 737-300 and one 737-500 in Air Austral’s fleet.
“The Boeing 737-800 is the natural choice for the modernization of our medium haul fleet,” said Gerard Etheve, president of the board of directors and chief executive officer of Air Austral. “Our pilots and technicians with experience on our 737 Classics will be able to transition smoothly to these new additions to our fleet.”
Air Austral, headquartered in St. Denis, Réunion, a French Department island located east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, operates regional routes to Mauritius, Madagascar, South Africa, Mayotte, Seychelles and Comoros.
The carrier also operates long haul routes to Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse in mainland France and to Australia and New Caledonia with a fleet of 777-300ERs and 777-200ERs.
Air Austral recently made headlines round the world when it became the first airline to announce its intent to order the massive Airbus A380 for operation in single-class configuration. Should the airline firm up the memorandum of understanding it has signed for two A380s, which it intends to operate on its flagship St. Denis-Paris route, each will seat no fewer than 844 passengers.
Boeing says the Next-Generation 737 is the newest and most technologically advanced aircraft in its class. The 737-800 flies higher, faster and farther, and seats more passengers than previous 737 models. In addition, its flight deck features the latest liquid-crystal flat-panel displays and is designed to accommodate new communications and flight-management capabilities.