LONDON – Korean low-cost carrier Jeju Air has signed a fresh order for 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, confirming its status as an all-Boeing operator. The carrier, which already has 39 Boeing 737-800NG (Next Generation) aircraft in its fleet, has firmed up for 40 737 MAX 8s with options for an additional 10 planes.
If the entire order for 50 jets is exercised, the list price exceeds the $5.9 billion mark, according to Boeing.
Jeju Air’s President and CEO, Seok-Joo Lee, declared that his team chose the 737 MAX 8 for “its superior performance and economics” and will “make it an ideal airplane to implement our growth strategy as we look to expand beyond Asia in the coming years.”
This order is the largest ever placed by a Korean LCC and is a reflective perspective on the rising demand for travel across South Korea.
Boeing’s Ihssane Mounir stated how proud he is to have Jeju Air as a new 737 MAX customer. He said the carrier “has become a leader in the vibrant LCC market by flying the Boeing 737.”
Jeju Air: Background Check
Jeju Air launched operations back in 2005, developing itself as the first LCC in South Korea.
The carrier has achieved about 25% of annual sales growth over the last few years, showing rapid maturity in the market across South Korea and Asia.
The airline has also achieved up to 17 quarters in a row of profitability, operating up to 200 daily flights to 60 different domestic and international routes.
JeJu Air flew more than 60 million passengers in 2017, producing revenues in excess of $890 million.
Currently, the 39 Boeing 737-800NGs in the airline’s fleet have a young age of 11.2 years old. As the new MAXs begin to join the fleet, this number will decrease considerably.
According to Boeing, these 737 MAX 8s will be powered by CFM’s LEAP-1B engines, offering Jeju Air up to 14% better fuel efficiency and environmental performance.
The LEAP-1B engines will also enable further range, hence the excitement for Joo-Lee, who expressed his desire to expand further afield away into the further Asia-Pacific region.
Up to now, Boeing has now acquired 4,800 orders from more than 100 customers globally for the 737 MAX program alone.