Boeing announces largest order ever from African airline

CHICAGO -- Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines announced Saturday a $2.1 billion order for twenty 737 MAX-8s -- with an option to purchase 15 additional aircraft in the future.

According to Boeing, the 737 MAX features advanced technology that makes the plane 14-percent more fuel-efficient than today's most efficient Next-Generation 737s.

"This historic order for Boeing and our partner Ethiopian once again positions the carrier at the heart of African aerospace innovation with the acquisition of the 737 MAX," said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Sales for Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, speaking in Chicago.

Earlier this month, Boeing announced an $11 billion deal with Ryanair, the Irish discount carrier, for an order of 100 of the newest 737 MAX 200 aircraft.

Ryanair becomes the launch customer for the 737 MAX 200 aircraft, which can seat up to 200 passengers, Boeing said.

Boeing has a total of 2,294 orders for 737 MAX aircraft worldwide.