Dow component Boeing (BA) is reportedly signing Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air as a launch customer for its new 737 Max 10 model.
Boeing plans to debut the largest option of its 737 line at the Paris Air Show, which starts on June 19.
Lion Air’s President Director Edward Sirait confirmed to Reuters that the carrier would be a launch customer but wouldn’t say how many of the new planes it will buy. Lion Air plans to order the new 737 Max 10 and some smaller aircraft, according to the report.
Indian full-service carrier Jet Airways also is reportedly in talks to purchase 50 narrow-body jets worth at least $5.6 billion and is leaning toward the 737 Max 10 or Max 200 vs. Airbus‘ (EADSY) A321neo, sources told Bloomberg. The deal could be finalized within two months.
The Indian budget carrier SpiceJet is seen as likely buyer too for the 737 Max 10, and United Airlines (UAL) is looking at the jet as well.
Boeing shares dipped 0.4% to 188.15 in morning trade on the stock market today.
Until a new midrange jet is available, the 737 Max 10 is seen as Boeing’s stopgap response to the A321neo, which has filled a market niche that Boeing exited years ago and is expected to enter service in 2020.
The 737 Max 10 will carry 190-230 people, or 10-15 more than the 737 Max 9, but will have the same engines as the rest of the Max family, according to CNN and Aviation Week. But that falls short of the A321neo’s planned capacity of up to 240 by 2018. Boeing’s midrange jet, which some have dubbed the 797, would seat 225-260.
Airbus’ U.S.-listed shares fell 1 cent to 20.96, near record highs. United shares fell 0.45% to 81.30, near their best levels since 1999.