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AirTran Celebrates Delivery of First New Boeing 717-200 Aircraft
Business Wire - September 24, 1999 13:09
ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 24, 1999--AirTran Airways (Nasdaq:AAIR) celebrated the official delivery of its first new Boeing 717-200, the industry's most modern, quiet, comfortable and safe airplane. This purchase took place only two years after the company was founded, making AirTran the youngest airline in history to be the launch customer for a new aircraft.

"The delivery of the first Boeing 717 marks a significant day in our company's history," said Joe Leonard, chairman and chief executive officer of AirTran. "We are proud to be the launch customer for this aircraft and confident passengers will enjoy the innovative features that make travel on the 717 the ultimate flying experience."

The 717-200 was designed specifically for short-haul, high-frequency routes and offers low acquisition, trip and maintenance costs. AirTran's 717 accommodates 117 passengers in a mixed-class arrangement with 12 seats in Business Class and 105 in coach class.

"When most airlines take on a new aircraft, they see significant cost increases, but the 717 will actually reduce our maintenance costs and result in better fuel burn," said Leonard. "The 717s offer increased seats per departure, improved operational reliability and overall flexibility for growth."

This new aircraft was carefully designed with the passenger in mind at each stage of development to create the most comfortable, luxurious and safe airplane for short distance and frequent flights. The 717's new, lean engine, BR715, by BMW/Rolls Royce, makes this aircraft the quietest and most environmentally friendly airplane in its class while not compromising power. Some of the state-of-the-art amenities include all-new spacious interiors featuring 18 percent more overhead storage space (same storage capacity per person as Boeing's 747 aircraft), back-lit hand rails along the overhead bins for easier access, 100 percent fresh air, and three modern lavatories with baby-changing stations, modern surfaces and oversized mirrors.

"We are pleased to celebrate the delivery of the first new Boeing 717 to AirTran," said Jim Hughes, senior 717 customer engineer for Boeing. "In addition to the state-of-the-art avionics of the 717, AirTran has been actively involved in the design process for all the aircraft's amenities to ensure the delivery of the best possible end product for its customers."

The celebration for the delivery of the first 717 aircraft was kicked off today, at 7:17 a.m. in Atlanta's International Hartsfield Airport with a press conference and delivery ceremony. Leonard unveiled the name of the plane, "Esprit de Corps," which was named by Tana Thomas an AirTran flight attendant, and Boeing representatives including Hughes and Atlanta airport officials made remarks. Tours of the new aircraft also were conducted.

After the celebration, the new AirTran 717 aircraft departed for its first official flight to Orlando, AirTran's headquarters, where additional festivities welcomed the aircraft. The 717 will enter the company's flight system in October, after completing proving runs and final preparation.

This initial 717 delivery marks the first in a series of deliveries that AirTran will receive from Boeing as the launch customer for the 717-200. AirTran is scheduled to receive the first two airplanes in September and six more before the end of the year. AirTran then will receive eight airplanes in 2000, 16 in 2001 and the remaining 18 in 2002.

Offering the convenience of easy, same concourse connections in Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport, systemwide, AirTran operates over 280 daily departures to 30 cities. AirTran operates over 135 daily departures from Atlanta, the "World's Busiest Airport," as designated by Airports Council International.

AirTran provides everyday, affordable air travel throughout the eastern United States and Midwest. Unlike other airlines, AirTran never requires a roundtrip purchase or Saturday night stay. AirTran is a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:AAIR).

For more information and flight reservations, call your travel agent, 800-AIRTRAN (800-247-8726), 770-994-8258 (in Atlanta), or visit the AirTran website at

Editor's note: Press kit materials available by visiting

CONTACT: AirTran, Orlando
Cara Maruskin, 407/251-5578
News-On-Demand: 888/329-0923

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