Jeju Air is ordering 40 737 MAX 8 planes from Boeing with the option for ten additional jets.
The deal, valued at up to $5.9 billion at list prices, is the largest order ever placed by a Korean low-cost carrier and reflects rising demand for air travel in South Korea.
It is also a boost for the aircraft type, with Lion Air flight 610, operated by a Boeing 737 MAX, recently crashing in the Java Sea with the loss of 189 lives.
“With Korea’s growing commercial aviation market, we are excited to take the next step in expanding our business with the 737 MAX, a world-class airplane that will allow us to improve our operation and continue to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for our passengers,” said Seok-Joo Lee, president of Jeju Air.
“The 737 MAX 8 and its superior performance and economics make it an ideal airplane to implement our growth strategy as we look to expand beyond Asia in the coming years.”
Jeju Air, based in South Korea’s Jeju Island, began operation in 2005 as the country’s first low-cost carrier.
Since that time, the carrier has spearheaded the rapid development of Korea’s low-cost carrier market and contributed to the expansion of the broader Korean commercial aviation industry.
Flying a fleet of nearly 40 Next-Generation 737-800s, Jeju Air has steadily expanded its business and its profits.
The airline has achieved 25 per cent annual sales growth over the past five years and recorded 17 consecutive quarters of profitability.
“We are extremely proud that Jeju Air has become a leader in the vibrant low-cost carrier market by flying the Boeing 737.
“And we are delighted that the airline has chosen to build their future fleet with this major order for the 737 MAX,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing for Boeing.