AIRSHOW-Kuwait's Alafco finalises order for 20 Boeing 737 MAX jets

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Kuwait-based Aviation Lease and Finance Company (Alafco) agreed to buy 20 additional single-aisle Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets in a $2.2 billion deal that doubles its order book for the aircraft.

"We are pleased to grow our partnership with ALAFCO and support their fleet expansion", said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president, Kevin McAllister.

The rival USA and European manufacturers are engaged in a fierce battle for the medium-haul market, the world's largest by volume, both offering re-engined versions of their top-selling models that promise a 15 percent reduction in fuel production.

More than 50 of the new planes will be 737 MAX 10s, the largest member of the 737 line with the balance made up of MAX 8 and 9s.

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The European manufacturer boasts orders for more than 5,500 aircraft since it launched the A320neo in 2010.

The plane maker said the new agreement includes a commitment for 175 MAX airplanes, and purchase rights for 50 additional MAXs in a deal that could "sustain tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs" in the company's US factories and network of suppliers. "Their airplanes have provided a foundation for the success of our business model, providing us with the operational flexibility and range to build a network of 95 destinations in 44 countries", said flydubai Chairman His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. This is the third aircraft order placed by the airline with Boeing in its eight-year history and follows orders placed in 2008 and 2013.

The 737 MAX has surpassed 4,000 total orders to date.

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