Vietnamese carrier Vietjet has placed a record order for 100 737 MAX 200 jetliners with Boeing.
The order is the largest ever single commercial airplane purchase in Vietnamese civil aviation history and was signed during U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to the country.
Worth an estimated US$11.3 billion at current list prices, the Vietjet order is an important one for Boeing, as Vietjet has traditionally been an operator of Airbus A320 family aircraft.
Vietjet President and CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thảo said, “Vietjet is efficiently operating a fleet of narrow body airplanes. Our investment in a fleet of B737 Max 200 will accommodate our strategy of growing Vietjet's coming international route network including long haul flights.”
Delivery of the new airplanes will commence in 2019 and all aircraft will be delivered to the airline by 2023.
The new orders for the Boeing B737 Max 200 along with Vietjet’s existing orders for Airbus A320 Classics and NEOs will result in Vietjet operating a fleet of more than 200 airplanes by the end 2023.
Vietjet is the second carrier to have placed orders for the B737 Max 200 which is a variant of the 737 MAX 8 and can seat up to 200 passengers. Europe’s leading low cost carrier Ryanair was the first airline to place orders for the type.
It placed orders for 100 airplanes in September, 2014. Based on the 737 MAX 8 airframe, the 737 MAX 200 will be powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines and will be able to accommodate up to 200 seats as a result of the incorporation of a mid-exit door, which increases the exit limit.
The airframe is 2.2 meters longer than the A320neo and can be configured with Boeing’s Sky Interior, which features modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting and larger pivoting overhead stowage bins
Boeing has received 3,098 orders from 65 customers around the world, till date for the 737 MAX single-aisle jetliner family.