Orders for Boeing 737 MAX surpass 2,000

The Boeing Co. announced Tuesday that it has received more than 2,000 orders for the narrowbody 737 MAX, which is scheduled to enter service in 2017.

The super-efficient, single-aisle airplane passed the 2,000-order mark sooner than any other Boeing airplane, according to a news release from the aerospace giant.

Boeing has received 2,010 orders worth $209 billion at list price. But airplane makers and customers usually negotiate lower prices.

Airbus’ A320neo still leads with more than 2,600 firm orders. But it was introduced earlier than the MAX, and it is set to enter service late next year, about two years ahead of the MAX.

“Since its first order, the 737 MAX has received more than 50 percent of the new orders versus its direct competition, proving the value this airplane offers to our customers,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX Program, in the news release.

The head of Air Lease Corporation, Steven Udvar-Hazy, touted the 737 MAX’s combination of “fuel-efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort.”

ALC has 84 orders for the airplane.

For all the gains in efficiency — 14 percent over the current 737 Next Generation model — passengers will not see much difference, especially not in coach, writes Businessweek’s Justin Bachman.

The 737 MAX is scheduled for final assembly in Renton in mid-2015, with first flight in 2016 and first delivery in the third quarter of 2017 to Southwest Airlines.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

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