Kuwaiti Company To Buy 18 Boeing Planes For $2.3 Billion

Boeing says Alafco is first Middle East customer to order 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing said Monday that Alafco, an aviation lease and finance company based in Kuwait, will buy 12 787-8 airplanes and six 737-800s for about $2.3 billion.

Boeing said the Sharia-based company is the first Middle East customer to finalize its order for the 787 Dreamliner.

"We're proud to be the first Middle Eastern company to purchase the 787-8 and our confidence to place this innovative airplane with airlines is further bolstered by the unprecedented demand for Boeing's Dreamliner," said Alafco's Chairman and CEO, Ahmad Alzabin. "The advanced technologies used to build this airplane will result in great operating efficiencies and substantial cost savings for our airline customers."

Since launch in April 2004, the 787 Dreamliner has logged orders from 37 customers for 470 airplanes, making it the most successful launch of a commercial airplane in Boeing's history. Rollout and first flight of the 787 is scheduled for later this year, followed by entry into service in 2008.

The Boeing 737-800, which can seat 162 to 189 passengers, is the best-selling version of the successful Next-Generation 737 family. The Next-Generation 737 family logged a record 729 net orders in 2006.