Boeing wins $21.7bn Indonesia plane order
Nusa Dua, Indonesia, November 18, 2011
The United States announced a massive order for Boeing jets from Indonesia's largest domestic airline, Lion Air, to be showcased as US President Barack Obama winds up an Asia-Pacific tour.
The sale of 230 short-haul 737 jets, worth $21.7 billion at list prices, is the largest commercial order in Boeing's history, toppling a previous record set just days ago as the industry taps in to relentless demand in emerging economies.
The order is also a boost for Boeing's efforts to develop a revamped version of its best-selling 737 to compete with a model produced by its European rival Airbus.
The deal from Lion Air, Indonesia's largest private carrier, included orders for 29 Next-Generation 737-900 extended range planes and 201 of Boeing's new 737 MAX, an updated version of its best-selling model.
The company said the 201 orders for the 737 MAX were included in previously announced commitments for 700 of the planes, which are due to enter service in 2017 equipped with fuel-efficient engines.
Obama, under pressure to bring down a 9 percent US unemployment rate, will attend a signing ceremony on Friday for the order, which the White House said would support more than 110,000 jobs at Boeing and US suppliers.
The US president, who hopes to convince voters before the November 2012 presidential election that his administration can revive the economy, is seeking to increase American exports to Asia-Pacific to offset weakness in Europe.
The Lion Air deal includes options for another 150 aircraft valued at $14 billion, bringing the potential total value to $35 billion, although big plane orders tend to come with significant discounts.
Boeing said the Lion Air order, when finalised, would be its largest ever 'by both dollar volume and total number of airplanes.'
The plane maker said strong customer demand was driving its plans to raise production over the next three years. 'As a result of that increase, we will definitely be adding many more jobs,' Boeing spokesman Doug Alder Jr. said without giving a specific figure. - Reuters