FARNBOROUGH, England (AP) — Boeing Co. clinched the first big deal of this year's Farnborough Airshow on Monday with a firm order from Air Lease Corp. for 75 of its redesigned 737 aircraft worth $7.2 billion.
The order represents a huge win for the Chicago-based company at the opening of the airshow, south of London, and is the first order for the MAX, a new version of its best-selling 737 aircraft, by a leasing company.
The MAX incorporates new technologies designed to make the aircraft more efficient, reliable and comfortable. So far, Boeing has secured orders and commitments for more than 1,000 of the aircraft.
Expectations are high that Boeing will clinch a raft of deals for the plane as it tries to catch up with rival Airbus in orders for single-aisle aircraft. At last year's Paris Airshow — Paris and Farnborough alternate — Airbus outsold Boeing by four times in the sector with its A320neo. Airbus has yet to announce any deals at Farnborough.
Los Angeles-based Air Lease, which buys planes and leases them to airlines, also has the right to purchase an additional 25 of the planes. The order will take several years to deliver. ALC has ordered a total of 170 airplanes from Boeing. Although the order has a list price of $7.2 billion, purchasers rarely pay the full price for an order of this size.
"The 737 MAX is an excellent addition to our portfolio and the ideal complement to our growing fleet of Next-Generation 737-800s," said Steven Udvar-Hazy, chairman and CEO of Air Lease. "The 737 MAX represents a step-change improvement that our airline clients need to compete in the future."