Malaysia Airlines Berhad has ordered 25 Boeing 737 MAX 8 Aircraft at a list price of $2.75 billion with possible options for a further 25 more MAX 8s and MAX 9s in a deal valued at $5.5 billion. The order, which was previously attributed to an unidentified customer, was announced at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow Trade Show. Deliveries will commence in 2019.
Malaysia Air Chief Executive Officer Peter Bellew told reporters on Wednesday that he sees “new growth markets in China, India and Pakistan” as he seeks to steer the airline toward profitability amid a 6 billion-ringgit ($1.5 billion) turnaround plan. The new planes may help cut Malaysia Air’s operating expenditure by about 15 percent, Bellew said. After passenger confidence took a dive two years ago after Flight MH370 vanished on March 8, 2014 and another was shot down over Ukraine four months later, the carrier is battling a slew of regional discount airlines to win back business.
The carrier has options to buy a mix of 737 Max 8 and 9 models, which, according to Boeing, have a list price of $110 million and $116.6 million each. Discounts are customary for large purchases. The Malaysian national carrier currently operates fifty-six Boeing 737-800s with an overall average age of 4.3 years.