In the first new sales order coming from the Farnborough Air Show near London, Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) announced this morning that Air Lease Corp. (NYSE: AL) will purchase 60 of Boeing’s new 737 MAX 8 and 15 MAX 9 airplanes in an order worth $7.9 billion at the list price value of the planes. Air Lease also acquired reconfirmation rights to another 25 737 MAX aircraft.
The 737 MAX aircraft is a re-working of Boeing’s venerable 737, with new, more fuel-efficient engines which the company claims gives the new plane an 8% operating cost-per-seat advantage over the A320neo from Airbus, what Boeing calls “tomorrow’s competition” in its announcement of the sale to Air Lease.
The order brings Boeing’s total order book for the 737 MAX to more than 1,000 aircraft, that are currently scheduled for delivery beginning in 2017. The A320neo is expected to start shipping to customers in 2015.
Boeing’s has had a good run against Airbus recently, due largely to resistance from airlines to the new emissions fees demanded by the European Union for all flights headed into or out of the EU. Cracks in the wings of some Airbus planes have also not helped the company.
As for Boeing, the company’s order book for its new 787 Dreamliner is not exactly filling up. The company’s net orders for the new plane in 2012 is -1. Only 24 of the planes have been booked through the end of June. The company has booked orders for more than 400 737s in the first half of this year. Boeing expects to deliver 287 new aircraft this year, of which 208 (72%) are 737s and only 11 are 787s.
Boeing’s shares are up about 0.7% in pre-market trading this morning, at $74.20. The stock’s 52-week range is $56.01-$77.83.