Qantas orders 31 next-generation 737-800s, deal worth $2.3bn

Boeing Co said Australian airline Qantas Airways has ordered 31 next-generation 737-800 single-aisle planes, worth about $2.3 billion at list prices. The deal is Qantas' second largest single-aisle order this decade.

The Australian flag carrier had bought 38 737s in 2001, which have now mostly been delivered.

The new order also brings the number of 737s sold this year to 713, which makes it by far Boeing's most popular plane with airlines.

Boeing now has 1,213 net orders for the year, which is already its highest tally ever, surpassing its record of 1,044 last year.

The Chicago-based company and European rival Airbus are in a neck and neck race for orders.

The final tally for both companies, adjusted for cancellations, should be made public early in January.