On April 10 Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez and U.S. President Barack Obama witnessed an agreement signed by Copa Airlines to order for 61 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 jets.
The April 10 order, which Boeing values at $6.6 billion at list prices, is the largest commercial transaction ever between a Panamanian and a U.S.-based company, according to the aircraft manufacturer.
Copa’s April 10 orders also include a $1.6 billion agreement with GE Aviation-Snecma joint venture CFM International to order 122 LEAP 1-B engines to power the 61 737 MAX jets. The LEAP-1B is the sole engine choice for the Boeing 737 MAX family.
The signing ceremony took place in Panama City as leaders from throughout the Western Hemisphere gathered for the seventh Summit of the Americas.
Presidents Varela and Obama were on hand as Copa Chairman Stanley Motta, Copa CEO Pedro Heilbron, Boeing Chairman and CEO Jim McNerney and GE Aviation President and CEO David Joyce signed documents recognizing the two order agreements.
The aircraft were previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries web site, according to the manufacturer.
Copa Airlines will use its Boeing 737 MAX jets to replace existing aircraft in its fleet and to support the carrier’s plans for strategic growth. Copa will be the first airline in the region to operate the 737 MAX 9 on routes deep into South America.
According to Boeing, airlines operating the 737 MAX will see a 14 per cent fuel-use improvement over today’s most fuel efficient single-aisle aircraft – and 20 per cent better than the original Next-Generation 737s when they entered service.
To date, the 737 MAX family has accumulated orders for 2,715 aircraft from 57 customers around the world.
Copa Airlines serves and connects 73 destinations in 30 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean through its “Hub of the Americas” at Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport.