Boeing (BA) Makes Inroads In Africa With Sale Of Of Eight 737 MAX 8s To South Africa's Comair Limited For $830 Million

Boeing 737 Max
An artist's rendering of the 737 MAX 8

The Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) said in Wednesday that it has received an order for eight 737 MAX 8s from South African company Comair Limited.

The $830 million order is the first for 737 MAX from an African operator. The order was made in December but was only just disclosed.

"We're proud to be the first African operator to announce an order the 737 MAX," said Erik Venter, chief executive officer of Comair, "This investment in Comair's fleet upgrade is fundamental to its business strategy of consistently improving customer service and value, while ensuring a sustainable airline. Our decision to make this investment was not taken lightly and is a critical component in managing our exposure to the volatile fuel price and thus minimizing the impact of the fuel price on airfares."

The fuel efficient 737 MAX 8s incorporates advanced technology winglets that make the aircraft 14 percent more fuel efficient. Boeing says the aircraft will generate an eight percent operating profit premium per seat over rival aircraft.

Comair’s latest order brings to 12 the number of planes it has on order with Boeing. Since being announced in 2011 Boeing has received 1,800 orders for the 737 MAX worldwide.

Boeing's order book has remained sluggish this year with only 113 orders to date compared with 220 in 2013 and 439 in 2012.

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