SEATTLE, March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing [NYSE:BA] and Japan Transocean Air (JTA) announced the airline's selection of 12 Next-Generation 737-800 airplanes. The selection, valued at $1.1 billion at list prices, will mark the start of the airline's fleet renewal program with the new airplanes scheduled to enter into service from 2016. As part of the agreement, JTA will have the flexibility to switch to the 737 MAX family of airplanes. "JTA has been the wings of Okinawa for almost 50 years," said Manabu Sato, president of Japan Transocean Air and executive officer at Japan Airlines. "The Next-Generation 737-800, with its greater reliability, superior economic and environmental performance, and passenger-pleasing Boeing Sky Interior will allow us to continue to provide the highest levels of service, comfort and convenience to the people of Okinawa." A member of the Japan Airlines Group, JTA is based in Naha, Okinawa, Japan's southernmost island chain. Currently, the airline operates a fleet of 737-400 airplanes on domestic routes linking Okinawa with major Japanese cities as well as other islands within Okinawa. "We are honored that JTA has chosen to maintain an all-Boeing fleet of Next-Generation 737s," said John Wojick, Senior Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The Next-Generation 737 will provide JTA with market-leading efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort, allowing JTA to continue to grow and prosper and allowing JTA and Boeing to maintain and build on a vital partnership for many years to come." JTA's new 737-800s will be powered by CFM56-7 engines manufactured by CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric and SNECMA. The airplanes will be fitted with Boeing's latest Performance Improvement Package (PIP), delivering an additional two percent improvement in fuel efficiency for what is already the most fuel efficient single-aisle airplane. The airplanes will also feature the popular passenger-inspired Boeing Sky Interior, with modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead stowage bins.