UPDATE 2-Alaska Airlines orders 50 Boeing jets worth $5 billion


(updates number of MAX orders to date)

Oct 11 (Reuters) - U.S. carrier Alaska Airlines said onThursday it will buy 50 737 single-aisle jetliners, worth $5billion at list prices, from Boeing Co in its largestorder yet.

The order includes 37 of Boeing's upcoming 737 MAX, thenew-engine variant of the popular 737 that offers better fuelefficiency. Alaska is also taking 13 Next-Generationextended-range 737 jets.

Alaska Airlines, whose parent is Alaska Air Group Inc, currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of 120 737s, andsignaled in a statement that it intends to have only Boeing jetsfor many years. It said the newest planes, most of which willreplace older aircraft, are to be delivered between 2015 and2022.

The 737 MAX is Boeing's answer to the Airbus A320neo jet, arevamp of the A320 family that will have more efficient engines.Airbus, a unit of Europe's EADS , and Boeing compete forthe lion's share of a jet market estimated at $100 billion ayear.

Earlier this month, Boeing reported an increase in ordersfor its third quarter, helped by the MAX.

It said the Alaska Airlines order brought the total numberof MAX orders to 858 to date.

Boeing's shares were up 1.1 percent to $71.10 in morningtrading, while Alaska Air was down 0.2 percent to $36.51.

(Reporting by Neha Alawadhi and A. Ananthalakshmi in Bangaloreand Karen Jacobs; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal and Gerald E.McCormick)

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