Boeing confirms $423m order

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Boeing confirmed yesterday that KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, part of the Air France/KLM Group, placed several orders this year for a total of six Boeing Next-Generation 737s. The order is valued at approximately $423m at list prices.

KLM converted six options for Boeing Next-Generation 737-800s to be delivered before mid-2008. The airplanes, which are equipped with blended winglets, will replace several Classic 737s in KLM's fleet. KLM currently operates a mixed fleet of Boeing Classic and Next-Generation 737 airplanes for its short-to-medium-haul operations.

Earlier this year, KLM also converted an existing order for three 777-200ERs to three 777-300ERs. According to Boeing, operating multiple models of the same airplane family gives the airline the flexibility to match the right airplane size to market demand. In a combination of leases and direct purchase, KLM will operate 18 Boeing 777s by 2009.

The Next-Generation 737 has logged 560 net orders in 2006. As of October 31, 101 customers have placed orders for more than 3,500 Next-Generation 737s; the program has about 1,440 unfilled orders with a value of about $96bn at current list prices.