By RTT News,
May 20, 2014, 10:12:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Aerospace and defense giant Boeing Co. ( BA ) announced Tuesday that it has breached the 2000 mark for 737 MAX orders after receiving a 30 aircraft order from an unidentified customers earlier in the week. This makes 737 MAX the fastest selling airplane in Boeing's history.
Chicago, Illinois-based Boeing noted that it has received a total of 2,010 orders for its 737 MAX super-efficient single-aisle airplane from 39 customers worldwide, including from airlines and aircraft leasing companies. The orders are valued at $209 billion at list prices.
The company noted that the 737 MAX also has commitments for more than 250 additional airplanes.
"Two thousand orders at this stage in the program is a remarkable achievement. Since its first order, the 737 MAX has received more than 50 percent of the new orders versus its direct competition, proving the value this airplane offers to our customers," said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager, 737 MAX Program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Boeing received its first order for the 737 MAX from Southwest Airlines Co. ( LUV ) in December 2011, with first delivery scheduled in the third quarter of 2017, 50 years after the the original 737 first flew. The final assembly of the 737 MAX is on track to begin in mid-2015 and first flight in 2016.
Boeing had breached the 1000 mark for 737 MAX orders in just over a year's time in January 2013. According to the Boeing website, it had firm orders for the 737 MAX totaling 1,934 as of March 2014.
The company noted that the unprecedented demand for 737 MAX is fueled by air traffic growth and the need for more fuel-efficient airplanes. The aircraft has been quite popular particularly with airplane leasing companies due to its 14 percent more fuel efficiency and lowest operating costs with an eight percent operating cost per seat advantage over tomorrow's competition.
"The 737 MAX provides the best-in class combination of fuel-efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort that our airline clients need to compete in the future," said Steven Udvar-Hazy, chairman and CEO, Air Lease Corp. ( AL ).
The 737 MAX is a new-engine variant of the world's best selling Boeing 737 airplane and builds on the strengths of Next-Generation 737. The plane incorporates the latest-technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.
Boeing decided in July 2011 to revamp the top-selling 737 instead of building an all-new aircraft. The revamped 737 MAX is designed to compete with the Airbus' fuel efficient A320neo in the narrow-body aircraft segment. The 2011 Paris Air Show had clearly indicated that the ever-increasing fuel costs has tilted customers' preference towards more fuel-efficient aircraft.
Boeing noted that the 737 MAX is more fuel efficient than the A320 today and will be more fuel efficient than the A320neo tomorrow. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see an 8 percent operating cost per seat advantage over the A320neo.
Boeing's rival Airbus Group (EADSF, EADSY) launched the Airbus A320neo with new engines in 2010 to improve fuel burn and operating efficiency, and is scheduled to enter service in 2016.
In Tuesday's regular trading session, BA is currently trading at $130.57, down $0.78 or 0.59% on a volume of 2.04 million shares.
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