Boeing locks in big 737 Max order to Lion Air — jet's second customer
With the Lion Air order, Boeing's new 737 MAX program has 351 orders from its first two customers.
Seattle Times aerospace reporter
Boeing said Tuesday it has finalized its biggest order ever: 230 planes for Indonesian carrier Lion Air.
The order includes 201 of Boeing's forthcoming redesigned 737s featuring a new engine, called the 737 MAX 9, as well as 29 of the current extended range 737-900s.
The deal is worth more than $22 billion at list prices. However, after standard discounts, the estimated real value based on market-pricing data from aircraft valuation firm Avitas is less than $12 billion.
The sale is the largest commercial-airplane order ever for Boeing by both dollar value and number of airplanes, topping a December order for 208 of the single-aisle jets from Southwest, which had a list price of $19 billion and an estimated real value of $10.5 billion.
Southwest will be the first customer to get the 737 MAX, which still is in development. The jet is scheduled for delivery in 2017.
At the end of last month, Lion Air had taken delivery of just 57 Boeing 737s, with pending unfilled orders for 121 more of the jets.
The newly announced deal expands the order book with an additional 230 jets and gives the airline the right to buy 50 more at preset pricing.
Lion Air plans to pay for the planes over 12 years with bank financing.
The agreement was first announced in November during a visit by President Obama to Indonesia.
In a teleconference with journalists the next month, Airbus sales chief John Leahy complained that the Lion Air deal was due to heavy U.S. "political interference."
Leahy said Lion Air Chief Executive Rusdi Kirana — who has been an all-Boeing customer — had come to see him twice in Toulouse, France, to weigh the option of buying A320neos but "in the end, he told me he had no choice," Leahy recalled.
"There is only one superpower in the world and we know it isn't France," Leahy said. "We shouldn't be talking about a free, open, level playing field if the U.S. pulls stunts like that."
At the Paris Air Show last June, Leahy made a big splash when he announced an order for 200 A320neos from another startup Asian carrier, AirAsia.
The fact that Lion Air ordered precisely 201 of Boeing's 737 MAX jets seems to be deliberate one-up-manship.
With the Lion Air order, Boeing's new MAX program has won 351 orders from its first two customers.
Boeing shares rose 71 cents to close Tuesday at $75.56 a share. It has traded between $80.65 and $56.01 a share during the last year.
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.