The first Boeing 737-700ER has taken to the skies painted with the livery of Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA).

Boeing says the Next Generation -700ER is "inspired" by the Boeing Business Jet and is designed for long-range commercial operations. The first of the type (N716BA) made its maiden flight in ANA colours this week (pictured below).

ANA 737-700ER 2
© Joe Walker  

The Star Alliance carrier intends to use the aircraft for niche markets where business jet operations would be appropriate for the demand.

The -700ER cabin configuration is flexible, and ANA initially intends to use the aircraft with a two-class configuration for routes such as Nagoya to the Chinese city of Guangzhou. 

The second of ANA’s Boeing 737-700ER aircraft will be configured with 36 business class seats and will be used to open a new route between Tokyo and Mumbai in September. It will be the first time that the Japanese carrier operates an aircraft with an all-business class product.

The 737-700ER has a range of 10,200km (5,510nm) and has an extended range of 3,970km (2,150nm) when compared to the original 737-700.  The aircraft utilises up to nine auxiliary fuel tanks and optional blended winglets. 

The first 737-700ER was flown initially without blended winglets as Boeing has not yet recieved approval for the incorporation of the winglets during production. However it expects that this will be in place to enable it to begin installing winglets “during production in first quarter 2008”. Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) meanwhile has begun work to retrofit the first 737-700ER for ANA with the blended winglets.