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Originally published October 1, 2012 at 4:14 PM | Page modified October 2, 2012 at 11:01 AM

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GOL announces order for 60 Boeing 737 MAX jets

Brazilian low-cost airline Gol said it has ordered 60 of Boeing’s forthcoming 737 MAX jets featuring new fuel-efficient engines

Seattle Times aerospace reporter

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Brazilian low-cost airline GOL on Monday announced a firm order for 60 of Boeing’s forthcoming 737 MAX jets featuring new fuel-efficient engines.

The order is worth about $6 billion at list prices. However, based on market-pricing data from aircraft-valuation firm Avitas, the real value of the order after standard discounts is about $3 billion.

“Boeing has partnered with GOL since their inception just over 12 years ago,” Ray Conner, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement. “We’ve watched them grow from a small startup airline to a driving force in global aviation, and we are proud to partner with them as the South American launch customer for the 737 MAX.”

The order brings Boeing’s order tally for the MAX to 724. The company has said it aims to have 1,000 orders booked by year end.

The Renton-built airplane is competing against the re-engined Airbus A320 neo family, which launched about a year before the MAX and has more than 1,400 orders.

Boeing promises the MAX will have 13 percent lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions than the current 737.

GOL said in a news release that Boeing has agreed to develop a further version of the MAX capable of landing on and taking off from relatively short runways.

Such a derivative of the jet would probably be developed only toward the end of the decade, after the initial three standard versions of the jet family have entered service.

In 2006, Boeing developed what’s called a “Short Field Performance” version of the current 737 for GOL, allowing the airline to fly out of the 4,300-foot runway at Santos Dumont airport in Rio de Janeiro with a bigger aircraft than other airlines.

Design enhancements for that version included a two-position tail skid that enables reduced-approach speeds, as well as sealed leading-edge slats and increased flight-spoiler deflection for improved takeoff and landing performance.

Dominic Gates: (206) 464-2963

or dgates@seattletimes.com

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