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Boeing Closes $22.4 Billion Deal With Lion Air

When your products sell for more than $80 million, selling one of them is a big deal. Selling hundreds of them in one deal means they're probably feeling pretty good over at Boeing right now. The aircraft company has finalized a deal to sell 230 jets to Lion Air of Indonesia, with a total list price of $22.4 billion — a record for Chicago-based Boeing.

The deal, which was first announced in November during President Obama's multi-country tour of Asia, includes 201 737 MAX jets and 29 of Boeing's extended range 737-900ERs.

When the sale was first agreed upon, Boeing rival Airbus Industries "accused the United States of applying political pressure to secure the deal," as Reuters reports.

In a statement, Boeing touts its plane's ability to lower fuel costs: "Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see a 10-12 percent fuel burn improvement over today's most fuel efficient single-aisle airplanes and a 7 percent operating cost per seat advantage over tomorrow's competition."

The sale, which will be paid off over a 12-year period, according to the AP, gives Boeing a needed boost in its competition with Airbus. Last year, the European aircraft maker reported more than 1,400 plane orders, driven by demand for its fuel-efficient A-320 aircraft.

In contrast, Boeing sold only about 800 aircraft last year.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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