At this point, some of you may be wondering “hey, we already have the 737-900, isn’t the ER just a version that can fly further?”
Aha! You see, the main difference between the 737-900 and the -900ER is that the regular -900 was a straight-forward stretch of the -800, but no additional emergency exits were installed, thus exit-limiting the aircraft to 189 (same as the 737-800) despite the additional floor space. Range was shorter than the -800; it was about three-quarters US trans-continental nor could it do the US West Coast to Hawaii. Another problem (from what I’ve heard) is that the longer body also made the -900 harder to take off from shorter runways due to the reduced rotation angle, as well as the higher chance of a tailstrike.
The -900ER thus sweetened this deal by, in Randy Tinseth’s words (he is VP of marketing), “Several improvements to the wings and flap systems and optional blended winglets and auxiliary fuel tanks allow the 737-900ER to have a range of 3,200 nautical miles (5,900 km). So, for dual-class operators, while they weren’t going past 189 passengers, they now have an extra amount of range.”
The -900ER has also been marketed as a replacement for the 757-200.
Lion Air, one of the types biggest customers. Note the extra exit next to the “ER”, a feature missing on the current IF 737-900 (go see if you don’t believe me!)
And to all those who say that the current -900 in game should get the extra door-no. They are two different planes and should be treated as such. Also, please please remove the Lion Air livery from the current -900, it says ER on the back so it’s wrong!