IAG Gives Boeing A 200-plane 737 MAX Boost
Boeing had a better day at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday with a couple of medium size deals and a bumper one from airline group IAG.
Korean Air and Air Lease Corporation announced commitments for 787 Dreamliners, but late in the day, International Airlines Group (IAG) announced that it had signed a letter of intent to order 200 737 MAX jets.
The LOI is a major boost to Boeing after aviation regulators grounded the worldwide 737 MAX fleet after two fatal crashes. IAG's is the first tentative order since the aircraft was grounded.
Earlier in the day, Korean Air and Air Lease Corporation announced the airline's plans to add 30 787 Dreamliners - 10 787-9s and 10 -10s. The agreement includes the lease of a further 10 787-10s from Air Lease. The 20-aircraft order is valued at USD$6.3 billion at list prices.
Korean Air will introduce the larger 787-10s to augment its current long-haul fleet of 787-9s and 777s.
Air Lease separately announced a commitment to purchase five 787-9s valued at USD$1.5 billion at list prices.
IAG's commitment for the 200 737s, a mix of MAX 8s and the larger MAX 10s, is a strong vote of confidence in Boeing from one of the world’s biggest airline groups.
“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,” IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said.
"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,” Walsh added.
IAG has chosen a combination of the 178-seat MAX 8 and the 230-seat MAX 10, the largest member of the 737 family. The company didn't disclose the number of each aircraft it will order, nor the airlines that will use them, but Vueling, LEVEL and British Airways have been mentioned as possible operators.
A 200 plane order would be valued at more than USD$24 billion when finally agreed.