CALGARY, Dec. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) and WestJet celebrated the 100 th Next-Generation 737 to join the Calgary-based airline's fleet Friday. WestJet began in 1996 with three Boeing 737-200s serving five cities and has grown into Canada's largest low-fare airline serving 81 destinations across Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. With today's delivery of a Boeing 737-800, WestJet's fleet now consists of 100 airplanes – all Boeing Next-Generation 737s. "This Next-Generation 737-800 marks a major milestone for our airline," said Cam Kenyon, WestJet's executive vice president, Operations. "The Boeing 737 is a key component in our growth strategy. Its excellent reliability, operational efficiency and range enable us to expand our network." The Next-Generation 737 is the most fuel-efficient and reliable single-aisle airplane today. The airplane provides added value to airlines such as WestJet by delivering reliability, simplicity and reduced operating and maintenance costs. "The growth of WestJet over the past 16 years is truly remarkable," said Brad McMullen, vice president of North America Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We are pleased to see the 737 play an integral role in WestJet's success. WestJet has made the Next-Generation 737 the foundation of its fleet and has established a strong operational track record with the airplane." The 737-800 is selected by leading carriers throughout the world because it provides operators the flexibility to serve a wide range of markets. The single-aisle jetliner, which can seat 162 passengers in dual class and up to 189 passengers in a high-density configuration, can fly 175 nautical miles (320 kilometers) farther while carrying 12 more passengers than the competing model.