Boeing Booking Big Orders for New 737s

The annual Farnborough International Airshow has brought positive news this week for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and in particular for its forthcoming 737 MAX jet, the forthcoming design that will replace the 737 Next Generation planes. The 737 MAX is meant to counter long-range, fuel-saving jets being developed by Boeing’s rival Airbus. At the U.K., trade fair Boeing has logged new orders for 40 of the single-aisle jets, the first version of which is scheduled to debut in 2017.

The Airshow is a biannual trade show taking place this week at Farnborough Airport, in Hampshire, England, where various designs, products, and programs are announced or released.

The 737 MAX is a new-engine variant of the current Next-Generation 737, which is described as “the world's best-selling airplane.” The 737 MAX will be powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines, and Boeing predicts that carriers operating the 737 MAX will realize a 13% improvement in fuel consumption versus today's most fuel efficient single-aisle jets, and an 8% improvement in operating cost per seat advantage versus the emerging designs against which it will compete upon its debut.

Prior to this week the OEM had reported orders for over 1,000 of the new jets since August 2011. Boeing indicates there will be three design variants of the 737 MAX — 737 MAX 7, 737 MAX 8, 737 MAX 9.

Now, Boeing has announced a contract from Avalon, a jet-leasing agency, for ten 737 MAX 8s and five 737 MAX 9s, as well as 10 Next-Generation 737-800s. The commitment has a list-price value of $2.3 billion, according to Boeing, and includes reconfirmation rights for five more 737 MAX airplanes.

"Boeing has shared a partnership with Avolon from the beginning," stated Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Avolon has a significant and strategic role to play in the aviation finance industry and we welcome them as one of the launch lessors of the 737 MAX. With rising fuel costs, the 737-800 and 737 MAX enable Avolon to offer their customers unsurpassed fuel efficiency today and well into the future."

Also, Boeing and Kuwait airplane leasing company Alafco announced a commitment for the latter to acquire 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, a $1.9-billion order.

"This is the first commitment for the 737 MAX from the Middle East, which is one of the aviation industry's highest growth regions," according to Conner. "We are proud of the confidence that Alafco has placed in the 737 MAX which will deliver unsurpassed fuel efficiency in the single-aisle market as well as improved environmental performance."

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