The firm order is for 60 of the MAX 8 version and 15 of the MAX 9, Chicago- based Boeing said yesterday at the show outside London. Boeing’s recent tweaks to the MAX, including winglets to help save fuel, helped win over Air Lease its CEO Steve Udvar-Házy said.
“The airplane we looked at last year and the first few months of this year is now a totally different plane.”
Boeing is seeking to replicate Airbus SAS’s success with its A320neo at last year’s show in Paris, where the French manufacturer dominated the order book.
That rout unfolded as Boeing pondered its next single-aisle move and then rushed to unveil the MAX before directors had signed off on building it.
The US manufacturer is headed toward more orders for the MAX at the show, with General Electric’s jet-leasing unit poised to purchase 100 737s, sources have said.
GE Capital Aviation Services’ purchase includes 75 737 MAX planes, said two people, who asked not to be identified because they are not authorised to discuss the deal.
The list value would be $9.25bn based on prices for the 737-800, the current jet’s most-popular model, and its MAX equivalent. GE and Boeing spokesmen declined to comment.
The MAX has a 13% fuel-burn improvement over current models, Boeing claims, making it attractive to airlines in a sector whose largest expense typically is jet kerosene.
It is scheduled for a 2017 commercial debut and has amassed more than 1,000 orders and commitments.