Boeing now holds firm orders and commitments for 948 737 Max aircraft from 13 customers, and expects that figure to climb to as high as 1,500 by the end of 2012, said the company's top executive.

With the announcement of its first firm order for 150 737 Max aircraft from Southwest Airlines, Boeing CEO Jim Albaugh said the firm order pushes the airframer's combined commitments toward the 1,000 mark.

Albaugh said the pace of commitments and firm orders should see the 737 Max tally climb to 1,400 or 1,500 by the end of 2012.

Southwest is the first official customer for the 737 Max.

Southwest, American Airlines, Aviation Capital Group and Lion Air are the only disclosed 737 Max customers to date, accounting for 486 of the 948 commitments for the new CFM Interntational Leap-1B powered aircraft.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news