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Old 05-23-2006, 02:29 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Atlanta
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AirTran Takes Delivery of Last Boeing 717 Aircraft

AirTran Airways and Boeing Fly Into Aviation History

ORLANDO, Fla., May 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

Marking a historic moment in U.S. aviation history, AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. AAI, officially took delivery of the last Boeing 717-200 ever built during a special ceremony at Boeing's manufacturing facility in Long Beach, California. AirTran Airways Ship 752 rolled off the production line in April and marks the 87th addition to AirTran Airways' fleet of 717s -- making the airline the world's largest operator of the Boeing 717 with the youngest all-Boeing fleet in America.

AirTran Airways would like to thank the many Boeing employees for their hard work and dedication over the years and enabling us to build a world-class aircraft fleet that is unparalleled in the aviation industry," said Joe Leonard, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of AirTran Airways. "Although production of the 717 has come to an end, AirTran Airways' long-standing relationship with The Boeing Company will continue to grow for the benefit of our Crew Members and customers."

During the delivery ceremony in Long Beach, Leonard, on behalf of the more than 7,000 AirTran Airways crew members nationwide, presented Boeing employees with a donation to the Boeing Employee's Community Fund as a token of appreciation for the role they've played in the success of AirTran Airways and the entire airline industry.

Tuesday's delivery concludes 65 years of airplane production in the Long Beach, Calif., factory, dating back to the Douglas Aircraft Company. More than 15,000 airplanes have been produced in the Long Beach factory since it opened in 1941. The Boeing 717 program produced 156 airplanes and pioneered breakthrough business and manufacturing processes for Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA).

"The 717 is an example of lean manufacturing and employee involvement that has now been incorporated into several other BCA production lines," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Alan Mulally. "We're extremely proud of the airplane, the employees and our supplier partners."

The Boeing 717-200, known for its efficiency and reliability, was designed specifically for short-haul, high-frequency routes and offers low acquisition, trip and maintenance costs. AirTran Airways' 717 aircraft, which accommodates 117 passengers, offers 12 Business Class seats and XM Satellite Radio, spacious EasyFit overhead bins and 100 percent fresh air circulated throughout the cabin. The 717's Rolls Royce engine was specifically developed to make the quietest and most environmentally friendly airplane in its class while not compromising power.
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