One frequently hears about the remarkable life of the 737. As of March 2014, 11,774 737s have been ordered since the first order dated February 15, 1965. In the 17, 969 days (using today’s date) since, Boeing has accumulated an order for a 737 on average once every 1.5 days for 49 years. Think about that for a moment. It is a performance that leaves one shaking your head in wonder.
But nothing lasts forever, though the 737 comes close. Take a look at the chart – the 737 has as many lives. Orders taper off and then come back again – over and over again. We are currently is an order spurt that started five years ago.
The chart also shows interesting trends. Clearly the 737 is seeing most action these days in Asia. There is strong, even growing, interest in Europe, despite Airbus. In the USA, Airbus has made inroads which seems to have tapered off the 737’s popularity. Of course the switch from Airbus A320 to 737MAX at Air Canada should see the chart change. Within the CIS, the 737 has seen declining orders as Airbus has grown more popular.
While one could argue the arrival of the A320 brought unprecedented competition for the 737, the basic design has proven remarkably adaptable.Tthe 737 has been continuously improved for nearly a half century and remains competitive. As good as the A320 is, it has made the 737 a better airplane too.