Boeing’s 737 Max Gets a Thumbs Up in $4.4 Billion Korean Order

(Bloomberg) -- Boeing Co.’s 737 Max jet just got a vote of confidence with a $4.4 billion order from a South Korean carrier, less than a month after one of the planes crashed in an incident investigators believe was caused by a faulty flight system.

Jeju Air Co., South Korea’s biggest budget carrier, ordered 40 Max 8 aircraft at a list price of $4.41 billion with an option for 10 more, the airline said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The aircraft will be delivered from 2022 to 2026, it said.

While Chicago-based Boeing has said the latest generation of its best-selling 737 model is safe, it faced the first lawsuit in the U.S. tied to the crash of Lion Air Flight JT610 that plunged into the Java Sea off Jakarta on Oct. 29. The planemaker is trying to assuage customer concerns about a little-known anti-stall feature that has emerged as the focus of the probe into the accident that killed 189 people.

Jeju Air is expanding its fleet to cater to growing travel demand and at the same time cutting fuel costs with newer, fuel-efficient aircraft. South Korea’s low-cost carriers have grown rapidly in the past five years, grabbing 28 percent of the international travel market in September.

Jeju Air, the country’s first low-cost operator, currently flies 35 737-800s and expects to add another by the end of this year.

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