Southwest Airlines orders 40 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft worth $4.68 billion

Boeing employees pose in front of a 737 MAX 8 produced for Southwest Airlines as the planemaker celebrates the 10,000th 737 aircraft to come off the production line in Renton, Washington on March 13, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 27 April 2018

Southwest Airlines orders 40 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft worth $4.68 billion

SINGAPORE: US carrier Southwest Airlines has ordered 40 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets worth $4.68 billion at list price to help modernize its fleet, the airline said.
It converted options it held over the jets into firm orders, with 10 to be delivered each year from 2019-2022, Southwest said in a statement on Thursday announcing its first-quarter earnings.
“This is first and foremost an extension of our fleet modernization strategy,” Southwest chief executive officer Gary Kelly told analysts on a post-earnings conference call, according to a transcript.
“We have a very strong business case to replace older 737-700 aircraft given the superior operating economics of the MAX 8.”
Southwest is the world’s largest operator of 737 jets, with more than 700 of the airplanes.
The airline on Thursday warned the consequences of a mid-air engine explosion on a 737-700 last week will weigh on second-quarter bookings, as investigators probe the events that led to the first passenger death in the airline’s history.
Southwest posted first-quarter profit of $438 million, excluding special items, up from $372 million a year earlier.

Saudi Arabia and UAE launch a new joint cryptocurrency

Updated 20 January 2019

Saudi Arabia and UAE launch a new joint cryptocurrency

  • The cryptocurrency will be limited to banks during its first stages
  • The program will also help the two countries evaluate the monetary policies of a centralized currency

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have launched a joint cryptocurrency during the first meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination council Saturday in Abu Dhabi, UAE’s national press agency WAM said.

The cryptocurrency will be limited to banks during its first stages, until the governments have a better understanding of how Blockchain technology operates cross-borders.

The currency operates on the use of a “distributed database between the central banks and the participating banks from both sides,” aiming to protect customer interests, set technology standards and assess cybersecurity risks. The new program will also help evaluate the impacts of a central currency on monetary policies.

During the meeting, representatives of Saudi Arabia and the UAE also signed the Joint Supply Chained Security Cooperation program, which tests the two countries abilities to provide vital supplies during times of crisis and national emergencies, as well as share expertise and knowledge in the field.

All 16 members of the executive committee of the council followed up on the execution of the initiatives mentioned in the Strategy of Resolve.

Representatives also set five other initiatives to enhance the cooperation between the two countries, such as facilitating the traffic between ports, improving airports to make it easier for people with disabilities to travel, creating a financial awareness program for children aged 7-18, starting a joint platform to support local SMEs, and the integration of civil aviation markets,

The committee was headed by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al-Gergawi, minister of cabinet of affairs and the future of UAE, and Mohammed bin Mazyad Al-Twaijri, minister of economy and planning in Saudi. The committee will also monitor the implementation of the initiatives.