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Boeing lands commitments for 120 737s at Farnborough

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on July 10, 2012 at 10:23 am |
July 11, 2012 12:44 pm

True to analysts’ prophecies, Boeing continued to rack up commitments for its popular 737 jet at the Farnborough Air Show in England today.

Two major leasing companies, one from the United States and the other from Kuwait, today announced commitments for 125 of the twin-engine, single aisle planes worth a total of $11.15 billion at list prices.

Those commitments followed an order Monday for 75 737s from Los Angeles-based Air Lease Corp. worth $7.2 billion at list prices.

The new commitments today came from GE Capital Aviation Services for 75 new 737-8 Max aircraft worth $7.14 billion at list prices and for 25 737-800 aircraft worth $2.11 billion at list prices.

Kuwait-based leasing company ALAFCO announced a commitment for 20 737 Max 8s today at the air show. The ALAFCO commitment was the first for the upgrade aircraft from the Middle East.

The 737 Max is the latest generation of the 737. It will feature new engines, improved aerodynamics and an updated cabin. Boeing says the Max aircraft will improve fuel economy 13 percent over the existing 737 Next Generation aircraft now in production.

The Max aircraft, like all 737s since the beginning of the program in the late ’60s, will be built in Boeing’s Renton plant. Boeing has received orders and commitments for more than 10,000 737s during the aircraft’s history, making it the best-selling jetliner extant.

The 737 Max is the rival of Airbus’ A320neo. The A320neo scored hundreds of orders at last summer’s Paris Air Show, while Boeing was left in the dust because it then didn’t have a comparable product then.

Boeing’s board approved offering the 737 Max to customers last fall. The first of the production 737 Max aircraft are due to enter commercial service in 2017.

Meanwhile, Airbus landed an order from Hong Kong’s Cathy Pacific Airways for 26 of its long-range A350-1000 twin-jets.

The Cathay order was the first for the A350-1000 since last year.

The A350-1000 is the largest version of Airbus’ A350, a new composite-bodied aircraft the European planemaker is building to cover the size segment Boeing covers with the new 787 Dreamliner and the 777.

The smallest Dreamliner, the 787-8, and the largest 777-300ER, are smaller and larger respectively than any of the A350 family of planes.

Boeing is studying whether to update the 777 to compete with the A350-1000. A decision on that update is expected before this time next year.

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