American Airlines retro Astro 737 airplane model. Until its launch on September 5, 1994, the 737-800 was known as the 737-400X Stretch. Compared with the -400, the -800 is 3.02m (9ft 9in) longer, taking typical two class seating from 146 to 162, while range is significantly increased. The -800 has sold strongly since its launch, and early 2002 was the highest selling Next Generation model. First flight was on July 31, 1997, first delivery (to Hapag Lloyd) was in April 1998.