Boeing wins big 737MAX order from United

Jul 12, 2012

Boeing had a triumphant announcement today - a big order from United Continental for its 737 narrow-body airplanes, which are made in Renton. United is buying 150 737s, Boeing's popular single-aisle jet. Two-thirds of those planes will be the newest version – the 737MAX, which Boeing announced last August.

Boeing was rushing to catch up with its rival Airbus, which had already announced hundreds of orders for its new narrow-body plane, the A320neo. Randy Tinseth is a vice president of marketing for Boeing.

"Even though we started a little bit late, we brought a better airplane to the marketplace and clearly, the market is very pleased with what they see and today we stand at close to 700 firm orders for the 737MAX," Tinseth said.

That’s more than half of the way to Boeing’s goal this year of winning 1,000 orders for the plane. American Airlines and Southwest have also ordered MAX airplanes. Aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia says Boeing is doing a good job of making up lost ground.

"Considering that at last year’s Paris air show, it looked like a heart attack moment when they were about to lose American to the A320neo, they’ve done a great job of rescuing the situation and securing their home market," Aboulafia said.

American wound splitting its order between Boeing and Airbus last year – a sign of just how much the airplane makers have to fight for each order.