Lion Air and Boeing have completed a record-breaking aircraft order today. The deal, announced in Indonesia this morning in the presence of US President Barack Obama, saw Lion Air commit to the purchase of 201 Boeing 737 MAX and 29 Next-Generation B737-900ER narrow-body aircraft, with options for an additional 150 planes.
With 230 aircraft at a list price of US$21.7 billion, this deal will be the largest commercial aircraft order in Boeing’s history by both dollar volume and total number of aircraft. The order value will rise further to US$35.7 billion at list prices if all the options are exercised.
“The 737 MAX will be the future of Lion Air,” said Rusdi Kirana, Lion Air’s Founder & President Director. “The highly efficient, technologically advanced airplane will help Lion Air continue to bring low fares and allow us to open new destinations because of the longer range of the airplane.”
President Obama, who arrived in Bali yesterday for the East Asia Summit, was on hand to witness the signing ceremony, along with Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ President & CEO, Jim Albaugh.
“We’re proud that Lion Air picked the 737 once again, building on our successful partnership,” said Albaugh. “Lion Air was a leader when it was the launch customer for the 737-900ER in 2005 and today it continues to be a leader as the first airline in Asia to commit to the 737 MAX.”
The 737 MAX is a new engine variant of the narrow-body B737. Boeing claims that the model will provide 10-12% less fuel burn than the B737, and a 7% operating cost advantage over “tomorrow’s competition”, referring to the Airbus A320neo.
Today’s order is the world’s second largest in terms of unit numbers, eclipsed only by American Airlines’ recent commitment for 460 narrow-body aircraft (a mix of B737s and A320s). But it becomes the largest order placed by an Asian carrier, beating AirAsia’s 200-plane order earlier this year. In terms of value, the deal also falls short of the US$43 billion order placed by Etihad Airways in 2008.