ALAFCO to buy 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s

Boeing Co received more than three dozen pledges to buy the planned Max 10 on the first day of the Paris Air Show, as the United States company stretches its 737 workhorse to challenge Airbus SE's sales lead for the largest single-aisle airliners.

The 737 MAX 10, which can carry up to 230 passengers, is the largest in the class, and Boeing said it would be five percent cheaper to operate than the Airbus A321neo.

"Our customers told us to build it bigger", said Kevin McAllister, president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Boeing and Airbus are preparing to squeeze the last drop out of a recent flood of airplane orders without the razzmatazz of recent years at the show starting on Monday.

Of the 108 orders and commitments announced so far, 4 were new firm orders, 40 were new commitments and 64 were conversions of existing orders for MAX 8 or MAX 9 models.

General Electric Commercial Aviation Services also placed an order for 20 MAX 10s, while the leisure-travel giant TUI Group agreed to convert 18 of its 70 outstanding 737 orders to the pricier MAX 10.

The MAX 10 will be the largest of the updated 737 series, which competes head on with Airbus's A320 neo family.

Norwegian is the European launch customer for the 737 MAX and now operates a fleet of more than 100 Next-Generation 737-800s across its short and medium-haul network.

The 737 MAX 10 is the largest member of the 737 airplane family, the world's best-selling jetliner family.

But Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told Bloomberg TV Monday that the plane is "potentially twin-aisle", but the company is still looking at "all options".

The US company has had about 3,700 orders for the 737 Max family, which ranges from the 172-seat Max 7 to the 220-seat Max 9. "Max 8 and Max 9 continue to be at the heart of the market".

Analysts said one unknown quantity is how numerous MAX 10 orders may merely be replacing previous orders for other variants as Boeing rejigs its medium-haul portfolio.

Boeing said Monday that its board of directors has given the green light to develop a new super-stretched version of its single-aisle 737 Max.

Boeing said it will announce this week orders for more than 240 of the new jets from more than 10 customers.

Airbus and Boeing are expected to bring in about 200 new orders each at this week's show at Le Bourget, down from past years when Asian and Mideast carriers were growing rapidly. "Today's order places us in an improved position to better serve those customers with both narrowbody and widebody fleet requirements".

"Our intention to purchase the 737 MAX reflects the strong customer feedback we have received", said Wang Yanjun, President of Tibet Financial Leasing.

  • Zachary Reyes