International Airlines Group (IAG) (IAG), the parent company of British Airways and Iberia, announces its intention to acquire 200 Boeing 737 MAX jets. The deal, made public during Paris Air Show, is valued at more than $24 billion at list prices. It is the first sizable order for a commercial airplane received by Boeing since the MAX grounding.
The order would include both 737-8 and 737-10 versions of the MAX. The aircraft should be delivered between 2023 and 2027 and would be powered by CFM Leap engines. IAG intends to distribute the planes among several airlines of the group, including Vueling, LEVEL and British Airways.
“We’re very pleased to sign this letter of intent with Boeing and are certain that these aircraft will be a great addition to IAG’s short-haul fleet,” said Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive. “We have every confidence in Boeing and expect that the aircraft will make a successful return to service in the coming months having received approval from the regulators”.
The operations of the Boeing 737 MAX have been globally halted since March 13, 2019, following two crashes involving the aircraft that costed the lives of 346 people. Since then, the manufacturer has only received one order for four of its 737 MAX jets from an undisclosed customer on April 26, 2019. Earlier, in late March 2019, both Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) and British Airways placed orders for respectively 20 787-9s and 18 777Xs.
With the deliveries also suspended, Boeing has reduced the production of the 737 MAX by about 20%, with a monthly output of 42 aircraft, against 52 previously.
IAG is one of the world’s largest airline groups with a cumulated fleet of 582 aircraft.