Malaysia Airlines orders $5 billion in 737 Max jets
Boeing and troubled Malaysia Airlines have announced a deal in which the Southeast Asian airline has signed a firm order for 25 737 MAX 8 airplanes, valued at US$2.75 billion at current list prices with an additional option for the same amount of planes including other variants, taking the full order to US$5 billion.
"This deal is a game-changer for Malaysia Airlines with much lower costs and greater efficiency, which we will pass on to our loyal customers with lower fares," said Malaysia Airlines’ chief executive officer Peter Bellew. "With the 737 MAX's longer range capabilities, we will be able to connect our passengers to more destinations, in greater comfort and with superior economics."
"The 737 MAX will continue the superior operating economics and reliability of the 737 that Malaysia Airlines has depended on for more than 40 years," said Dinesh Keskar, a senior vice president for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We are honoured to continue our long partnership with Malaysia Airlines and welcome them to the growing 737 MAX family."
This is the first big decision by the ailing carrier since Bellew took over from former chief executive Christoph Mueller, who quit the CEO post early for “personal reasons.” The new planes will replace some of the airline's 56 Boeing 737-800s, which have an average age of 4.1 years according to airfleets.net, Reuters reported.
Malaysia Airlines has been suffering since it lost two planes in 2014 when flight MH370 disappeared and flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine. The company is going through a major restructuring that saw it drop all non-stop flights to Europe save for one to London and it curtailed its Asia-Pacific flights as well as sacking thousands of employees in Malaysia.