Panama’s Copa Airlines has placed an estimated $1 billion firm order for 13 Boeing 737-800s, in a deal consisting of a mixture of option conversions and new sales, the airline announced today. The contract raises the total number of Boeing 737NGs Copa has ordered to 27 and increases Boeing’s net order count for the year from four airplanes to 17. The airline said it expects delivery of the 13 newly ordered airplanes to begin in 2012 and end in 2015. It also holds options covering eight more airplanes, scheduled for delivery between 2015 and 2017.
The new airplanes will come outfitted with Boeing’s new “Sky Interior,” featuring new 787-style modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals. They will also benefit from a combination of airframe and engine improvements, planned for 737-800s with deliveries starting in 2011, which are expected to result in a 2-percent reduction in fuel consumption.
Copa uses Tocumen International Airport as a connecting hub for long routes between the U.S., South and Central America and the Caribbean. The airline flies four of the world’s longest 737 routes from there–to Buenos Aires, Santiago, São Paulo and Los Angeles.
Copa became the first carrier in the Americas to incorporate blended winglets on its 737 when it took its first 737-700 in June 2002. It also was the first in the region to order Next-Generation 737s with the vertical situation display system, which creates a visual plot of the airplanes’ present and projected flight path in relation to ground terrain.