A banner week for Boeing’s 737 MAX continued overnight with United Airlines announcing a firm order for 100 of the upgraded narrowbodies.
The deal, coinciding with the Farnborough Airshow, also included firm orders for 50 current-generation 737-900ERs and was valued at US$14.7 billion at list prices. That brings the total value of Boeing orders from this week’s show to slightly more than US$35 billion, well outpacing rival Airbus.
Total orders and commitments for the 737 MAX, due to ship in 2017, now stand at more than 1200 aircraft, fast approaching the sales total of the rival Airbus A320neo. The upgraded Airbus narrowbody, due to start deliveries in 2015, sold heavily at last year’s Paris Airshow but has had a relatively quiet show this year. Analysts say both rivals appear poised to hold their share of the critical narrowbody market, with few if any airlines switching sides.
United will serve as North American launch customer for the 737 MAX-9, which will seat up to 180 passengers and feature the Boeing Sky Interior borrowed from the 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing says the 737 series is the best-selling jetliner in the world, with United’s order pushing total 737 sales above 10,000 aircraft.