PARIS – American lessor, Aviation Capital Group (ACG), placed an order for 20 737 MAX 10s Tuesday at the 2017 Paris Air Show (PAS), becoming the eighth customer for Boeing’s largest 737 MAX variant and the fifth lessor to buy the type.
The order comes a day after Boeing made the blockbuster announcement of the 737 MAX 10 variant, and further grows the 737 MAX 10’s order book. At yesterday’s press conference, Boeing revealed that it had 240 MAX 10 orders and commitments from 10 different customers to announce at the show.
At the time of writing (9:45 am CET), Boeing has revealed 169-187 of those orders and commitments (the uncertainty is due to the unknown breakdown of Tibet Financial Leasing’s order for 20 737 MAX planes (a mix of MAX 8s and MAX 10s).
The ACG deal is worth $2.49 billion at current list prices and adds to the 60 737 MAX jets that ACG ordered back in 2011. With the new order, ACG now has 50 737 MAX 8s, 10 737 MAX 9s, and 20 737 MAX 10s on order, making it the fifth largest lessor customer for the MAX.
ACG also has 61 A320neo family jets on order, split as 47 A320neos and 14 A321neos. Interestingly, this makes ACG the first lessor (at least temporarily) to have more 737 MAX 10s on order than A321neos, at least temporarily.
The order was announced at a press conference by Ihsaane Mounir, Boeing’s SVP of Global Sales, and Khanh Tran, ACG’s CEO. Mounir expressed his pleasure at the order with a bit of humor.
“A lot of people don’t know how to spell out names, even in our own companies. Today we have a very special customer who has been with is for quite some time, who pushed us over the total order number of 1000 airplanes in 2013 when they first ordered the MAX. Today they’re giving us another big endorsement for the MAX 10. Khanh, you will find this fleet of airplanes will make your collection even more robust.”
Khanh added that “We [ACG] are very happy to be one of the first to receive this new variant. We look forward to continuing the partnership we’ve had with Boeing over the decades, and are very happy to be supporting of Boeing and are thankful for their strong partnership. This order further underscores our commitment to ACG’s growth strategy and provides us flexibility with this new variant of the proven, successful family of Boeing 737 aircraft”
ACG has customers around the world ranging from Mexican ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC), InterJet, to Vietnamese flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines. Its fleet of Boeing narrowbodies includes the 737 NG, the 737 Classic, and the 757-200.
The validation from a Western lessor is particularly valuable for the 737 MAX 10. On day one, the big initial lessor customers were either Chinese lessors who will buy the 737 MAX 10 regardless of economics for political reasons and GECAS, which has a vested interest in the 737 MAX 10 by virtue of its engine joint venture CFM powering the MAX 10 with its LEAP-1B engine.
Western lessors were amongst the biggest initial skeptics of the MAX 10 as it was floated over the last year, and this order by ACG is a big validation to the contrary, even as other lessors like Steven Udvar-Hazy’s Air Lease Corporation remain skeptical.