Kuwait-based lessor ALAFCO has firmed an order for 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft originally placed at the Paris Air Show earlier this year.

The order doubles ALAFCO’s existing order for 20 MAX aircraft, first placed in 2011. The first aircraft from the latest order will begin arriving in 2022, ALAFCO deputy CEO Adel Al-Banwan told reporters at the Dubai Air Show.

The order is speculative, as lessees have not been identified. About half of ALAFCO’s earlier order has been placed, but the demand for the aircraft led the lessor to place today’s order, Al-Banwan said, adding, “This order is strategic for our future growth.”

ALAFCO’s first MAX aircraft, from its earlier order, will begin joining the fleet in February 2019.

Since this is a speculative order, no configurations have been determined. However, Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP-global sales & marketing Ihssane Mounir said the 737 MAX 8 can accommodate up to 189 passengers in a single-class configuration. A “MAX 200” variant can accommodate more than 200 passengers in a single-class configuration. But the more typical dual-class configured 737-8s have about 160 seats, he said.

Madhu Unnikrishnan madhu.unnikrishnan@aviationweek.com