Boeing and Monarch Airlines finalized a deal today for 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, at a list price of $3.2 billion. The order put the MAX at 2,325 orders from 48 customers, making it the fastest-selling commercial plane in the company's history.
Since being introduced in December, 2011, airlines have ordered the MAX by the hundreds. Here in the U.S., Southwest Airlines has 200 on order, and will be the first airline to receive them off the assembly line. American and United Airlines have each ordered 100 MAXs. Indonesia's Lion Air has the largest order on the books, trumping the Southwest order by one plane.
The MAX will be the fourth generation of the Boeing 737, first introduced in the 1960s. The biggest change on the MAX will be the new CFM LEAP-1B engines, making the MAX 14 percent more efficient than the current 737 Next Generation model. Boeing also says the MAX will have an 8 percent advantage in operating cost over its competitor's plane, the A320neo. Although oil prices have come off their peak of the past couple of years, airlines are still clamoring for any possible gain in fuel efficiency. Fuel tops the list of airlines' expenses, along with labor and new aircraft. The high demand for new planes has prompted Boeing to increase their production rate, planned to reach 52 planes per month by 2018. A lot of the demand stems not only from adding new planes to airline fleets, but also from replacing older, less efficient planes. Developing countries in Asia and the Middle East have been a huge source of demand for new planes in recent years.
Boeing's market outlook predicts the worldwide demand for 25,680 new single-aisle planes between now and the year 2033. Airbus' forecast is slightly more conservative, at 22,071 for the same time period.