Virgin Australia airlines became the latest customer for Boeing’s newest generation of its best-selling 737 jet, the 737 Max.
The Australian carrier announced it has ordered 23 of the single-aisle, fuel-efficient jets. At list prices, that order is worth $2.19 billion.
The airline also said it is deferring delivery of some of the current 737NG jets it had on order to determine if those orders should be converted to the newer 737 Max jets.
Even with that deferral, Virgin Australia is scheduled to take delivery of 31 737NG jets between 2013 and 2016.
The first of Boeing’s updated 737 Max jets is to be delivered in 2017. The 737 Max will be equipped with new engines, a taller landing gear, and an aerodynamically modified fuselage to improve performance.
Virgin Australia has ordered the 737 Max 8 version of the plane, the middle-sized of the three sizes of the basic 737 Max aircraft. The planes will be built in Boeing’s Renton factory.