U.S. planemaker Boeing Co said on Monday it sold 100 new 737 MAX-7 jets to long-time customer Southwest Airlines, in its biggest order win since the aircraft’s safety ban was lifted in the United States late last year.
Shares of Boeing were up 3.5% in early trading on the news.
The order signals Southwest’s show of confidence in 737 MAX jets, ending speculation of a shift to jets made by Airbus SE by the U.S. budget carrier as it hopes for a recovery in the pandemic-hit aviation sector.
“This is a very solid boost for the (737 MAX) program, but since Boeing was the incumbent here they had a strong advantage,” said Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia.
“In fact, since Southwest is the world’s only large 737-only airline, it would have been a major disaster for Boeing if they had lost.”