Boeing picks up more jet orders at airshow

Boeing Co. assembles the 787 Dreamliner in North Charleston.

Boeing Co. landed orders for two more 787-9 Dreamliners Wednesday during the Farnborough Airshow in England, bringing its total since Monday to 18 of the wide-body jets partially made in North Charleston.

MG Aviation Limited, part of New York-based Jordache Enterprises that operates Arkia Israeli Airlines, ordered two of the new passenger planes Wednesday, following orders from CIT Aerospace, a division of New Jersey-based CIT Group Inc., for 10 of the aircraft Tuesday and Ireland-based Avolon leasing company for six 787-9s.

At current list prices, the order for 787-9s, which are 20 feet longer than the 787-8 and carry 40 more passengers, is about $4.5 billion, according to Boeing.

Boeing also is firming up about $6.2 billion in orders so far this week for 61 737 MAX 8s and MAX 9s.

On Wednesday, the Chicago-based aerospace giant said it is working on a deal with China-based Hainan Airlines for 50 737 MAX 8 aircraft, a sleek new single-aisle passenger jet soon to be produced. Avolon on Tuesday ordered five 737 MAX 9s, a slightly larger version of the MAX 8. China's first privately owned airline, Okay Airways, ordered six 737 MAX 8s Monday.

Boeing assembles the 787-8, the smallest member of the Dreamliner fleet, in North Charleston. Starting this fall, the Lowcountry factory will piece together the 787-9.

The aircraft manufacturer is also constructing a plant in Palmetto Commerce Park in North Charleston to make engine inlet components for the 737 MAX line. It begins production next year.

The 737 MAX has surpassed 2,100 orders from 42 customers worldwide and is the fastest selling airplane in Boeing history.

The 737 MAX line is Boeing's answer to rival Airbus's A320neo and A321neo. Boeing says airlines will see an 8 percent operating cost-per-seat advantage over the Airbus models.

First deliveries of the 737 MAX are set for 2017. The first 787-9 was delivered to Air New Zealand earlier this month.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or