Boeing Commercial Airplanes acknowledged reports it has landed an order, independently estimated at up to $5.5 billion, for 50 new 737 aircraft, for new subsidiary of China’s Juneyao Airlines Co. The new enterprise is called 9 Air, and aims to follow a budget carrier business model in expectation of the Chinese government easing restrictions on low-cost operations.
9 Air committed to buy a series of the current model 737, called the Next-Generation 737, and the coming 737 MAX model, a redesigned version that will make its commercial debut
Based in Guangzhou, 9 Air will launch domestic service later this year. It will be an “all-Boeing operator,” which is characteristic of many budget airlines.
The Boeing 737 is a single-aisle, medium-range jet, introduced in 1964 and widely described as the best-selling aircraft of all time. The Next-Generation 737 is the third iteration of the jet, typically carrying 110 to 210 passengers.
The 737 MAX will be the fourth generation of the series when it makes its commercial debut in 2017, incorporating larger and more fuel-efficient jet engines, the CFM International LEAP.
Boeing’s statement did not reveal the numbers for each type of jet, so the actual value of the contract remains unclear.
The jet builder noted it would post details of the order “once all contingencies are cleared.”
“We are honored to welcome 9 Air as Boeing’s newest customer,” stated Ihssane Mounir, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Northeast Asia. “The success of Boeing’s market-leading 737 family of airplanes has proven to be a winning formula for low-cost carriers around the world. I am confident that this success will be replicated with 9 Air’s low-cost business model.”