Boeing has confirmed that Jakarta-based Lion Air will sign a commitment on November 18 for the airline to order 201 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft...

Jakarta-based Lion Air has signed a commitment to order 201 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and 29 Next-Generation 737-900ERs.

The agreement also includes purchase rights for an additional 150 aircraft, bringing the Indonesian low-cost carrier’s potential 737 order to 380 jets.


With 230 aircraft at a list price of $21.7 billion, the Lion Air deal when finalized will be the largest commercial aircraft order in Boeing’s history by both dollar volume and total number of aircraft.

Lion Air, Indonesia’s largest private airline, currently operates or has on order a total of 178 Next-Generation 737s. The Indonesian airline was the launch customer for the 737-900ER, Boeing’s largest and heaviest 737 variant.

On November 18, 2011, Jakarta-based Lion Air announced a commitment to order 201 737 MAXs and 29 Next-Generation 737-900 ERs. The agreement also includes purchase rights for an additional 150 jets. Pictured here is an artist’s image of a Boeing 737 MAX in Lion Air livery

Boeing’s current list price for the 737-900ER is $89.6 million, so the 29-aircraft 737-900ER part of the deal is valued at approximately $2.6 billion.

In turn, this values the 737 MAX part of the huge Lion Air order at $19.1 billion. Dividing $19.1 billion by 201 aircraft produces a list price of $95 million, though Lion Air has not yet said which variant of the Boeing 737 MAX it will be ordering.

Should Lion Air decide to order aircraft equivalent in size to the 737-900ERs which will form the bulk of its fleet in the near-to-medium term, the carrier would specify the 737 MAX 9.

U.S President Barack Obama witnessed the official announcement at a ceremony on the morning of November 18 at the East Asia Summit in Bali, Indonesia.

Lion Air is the second customer which Boeing has identified for the 737 MAX family, American Airlines having effectively launched the program when it announced in July that it would order 100 of the type. Boeing is now saying it has commitments for more than 700 737 MAX-family jets from nine customers, though the manufacturer has not finalized any firm orders because the 737 MAX is not fully specified.

Carriers thought by some industry insiders to be good candidates to become potential 737 MAX customers in the medium term are Alaska Airlines, Copa Airlines, GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes, Ryanair, Scandinavian Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and WestJet.

Lion Air took delivery of its 50th Boeing 737-900ER on September 15, 2011. Pictured here is Lion Air’s 50th 737-900ER in a special commemorative livery as it takes off from Renton, Washington, home of Boeing's 737 final assembly line

News of the Lion Air deal comes four days after Boeing announced what until then was its biggest-ever aircraft order by dollar volume. On November 14, the U.S.-based manufacturer announced an $18 billion order (at list prices) for 50 more 777-300ERs from Emirates.

On November 17, Boeing also announced a repeat order for eight Boeing 777-300ERs from Singapore Airlines.

To date, the 737 MAX has commitments for more than 700 aircraft, while the Next-Generation 737 family has won orders for more than 6,000 aircraft and Boeing has delivered more than 3,800.

Lion Air’s commitment for 230 Boeing 737-family jets is exceeded only by the 260-aircraft order that American Airlines announced for Airbus A320-family aircraft in July.

American ordered 130 existing Airbus A320-family jets, all of which it will lease from the manufacturer, and committed to order 130 A320neo-family aircraft. American also optioned a further 70 existing A320-family jets and 280 A320neo-family aircraft and secured purchase rights on 15 additional A320-family aircraft.

On the same day, American also ordered 100 Boeing 737NGs and committed to order 100 Boeing 737 MAX jets, as well as securing purchase rights on 40 more 737NGs and 60 more 737 MAX jets. Together, American’s commitments for A320-family aircraft and Boeing 737-family jets represent by far the largest potential order for commercial jets in history.

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