In a coup over rival Airbus, Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) has sold 75 of its model 737 MAX 8 planes to India’s Jet Airways.
According to the two Boeing and Jet Airways:
The announcement marks the largest order in Jet Airways’ history and supports the airline’s replacement strategy to have the most modern and environmentally progressive airplane fleet. The order, previously attributed to an unidentified customer, includes conversions of 25 Next-Generation 737s to 737 MAX 8s, as well as options and purchase rights for an additional 50 aircraft.
The announcement was made at the Dubai Airshow, which is the annual face-off between Boeing and Airbus. Each vies for orders from the world’s major carriers, and the PR rights to besting the other in total orders.
Jet Airways management said the Boeing 737 MAX 8 offered unprecedented fuel economy and seating capacity:
“Boeing is proud that Jet Airways will be the first airline in India to take delivery of the 737 MAX,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “The 737 MAX will bring new standards for fuel efficiency and economics, and a premium passenger experience to Jet Airways.”
The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.
The new single-aisle airplane will deliver 20 percent lower fuel use than the first Next-Generation 737s and the lowest operating costs in its class – 8 percent per seat less than its nearest competitor.
Jet Airways is publicly traded in India and claims it is the second largest airline in that country. It is growing rapidly, as passenger traffic rose 26.3% in its most recently reported quarter to 6.37 million. The company claims it is in the midst of a turnaround. The Boeing order may be proof the effort is working.