SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's low-cost air carrier Eastar Jet Wednesday became the Korean Peninsula's first customer of Boeing's energy-efficient 737 MAX aircraft, top U.S. airplane manufacturer Boeing Company (Boeing) said.

The popular, longer-range aircraft, which was delivered to the South Korean budget airlines in Seattle, Washington State, earlier in the day, will join Eastar Jet's fleet of 19 737-800 airplanes.

In Eastar Jet configuration, the 737 MAX jet will be able to fly more than 3,100 nautical miles (5,740 km) , or 500 nautical miles (about 930 km) farther than the previous 737 models, and to save 14 percent more fuels, Boeing said.

"The superior economics and longer-range capability of the 737 MAX will enable us to expand our network into new and existing markets more efficiently, which will help us achieve long-term growth," said Eastar Jet President Jong-Gu Choi.

Eastar Jet will take delivery of another 737 MAX 8 airplane from Boeing later this month.

Based at Gimpo/Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea, Eastar Jet launched operations in 2007 with Next-Generation 737 jets, and has now grown into the largest low-cost carrier in Northeast Asia over the past five years.

The introduction of the new 737 MAX jet to Eastar's fleet will help the South Korean airlines to expand into new markets such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur of Malaysia and other future destinations.