IAG Wants First Boeing 737 MAXs Delivered In 2022

The International Airlines Group would like its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft delivered in 2022 according to CEO Willie Walsh. IAG is yet to actually order the aircraft but issued a letter of intent for 200 of the aircraft at the 2019 Paris Air Show.

IAG Boeing 737 MAX 2022 Delivery
IAG is looking to receive its first Boeing 737 MAX in 2020. Photo: Boeing

The Boeing 737 MAX is currently suffering arguably the most high profile aircraft grounding of all time. As such, it came as a surprise when IAG announced intent to order 200 of the aircraft in June. Now, the group’s CEO, Willie Walsh, wants to bring a proposed first delivery forward from 2023 to 2022 following discussions with Boeing.

Why could IAG order the MAX?

The IAG Boeing 737 MAX letter of intent came as a surprise for a couple of reasons. Firstly, and most obviously, the Boeing 737 MAX has been grounded since mid-March. Airlines are currently unable to receive the aircraft prompting Boeing to commandeer staff car parks for storage. With uncertainty as to when the MAX grounding will be lifted, it took everybody by surprise that such an order would be considered.


Secondly, IAG currently exclusively uses Airbus A320 family aircraft for narrow-body operations. While British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus have all previously operated the Boeing 737 in their histories, none of them currently do. It is possible to see the Boeing 737 in the British Airways Chatham Dockyard livery, however. You just need to look at their South African franchise, Comair.

IAG Boeing 737 MAX 2022 Delivery
IAG is interested in both the MAX-8 and MAX-10. Photo: Boeing

2022 deliveries

According to Reuters, IAG is now looking at bringing deliveries of the Boeing 737 MAX forward to 2022. Originally, per IAG’s letter of intent, deliveries of the aircraft would take place between 2023 and 2027.

However, according to the publication Willie Walsh elaborated on the topic during an earnings call. He said: “We are having very constructive discussions with Boeing. We are looking at bringing forward the delivery to 2022, which we think will be possible”. Before adding: “We remain confident that the issues will be addressed by the safety regulators”.


What would IAG use the Boeing 737 MAX for?

If IAG’s letter of intent is converted to a firm order, the group would have 200 more narrow-body aircraft. According to the letter of intent IAG would be purchasing both the Boeing 737 MAX-8 and MAX-10 aircraft. However, a Boeing press release failed to indicate the split between models.

IAG Boeing 737 MAX Willie Walsh
IAG’s Willie Walsh wants to receive the first Boeing 737 MAX in 2022. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Boeing’s press release on the matter also told how the Boeing 737 MAX order would be split between LEVEL and Vueling. LEVEL is IAG’s low-cost start-up airline offering both short and long haul flights. Meanwhile, Vueling is another low-cost airline based in Spain.

Despite the Boeing press release stating that IAG’s two low-cost airlines would be taking the Boeing 737 MAX, a press release issued by the International Airlines Group begs to differ. In their press release on the matter, they state “It is anticipated that the aircraft would be used by a number of the Group’s airlines including Vueling, LEVEL plus British Airways at London Gatwick airport.”

The letter of intent has no binding for IAG to actually purchase the Boeing 737 MAX. However the fact that Willie Walsh is trying to speed up delivery hints that the group is serious about the order. Maybe one day we will see British Airways Boeing 737 MAXs operating from London.

What do you make of Mr. Walsh’s comments? Let us know in the comments!


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No need to wait till 2022. IAG can have them by tomorrow. There are plenty of them at Boeing’s car park!


Boeing make their planes to order and those parked planes are all sold. If you look up the pictures, you’ll find that they’ve all already been painted in their respective airline colours.


I was just being sarcastic.


Perhaps there have been more MAX cancellations than we’re currently aware of, and Mr. Walsh is trying to utilize the slots that have become vacant as a result…


Look at this! Perhaps Mr. Walsh should have a chat with Southwest, Ryanair, American, United, Icelandair, etc., about the meaning of the concept of “unacceptable delays”:



Just a music to make this announcement more realistic. How much boeing paid BA to become its chief adverstiser officer ? 50%, 60% perchaps 70% discount on aircraft official proce list?
For BA, it is a good deal if they keep silent from now.
Nevertheless, it shows how companiesare about customers…about 0.


No thanks, Airbus A320 all day. I’ll have to fly EasyJet.


Just watch! IAG will end up canceling their entire Max order for the A320 family cause of 737max delays.

Muhammad Reshad Koodun

I hope so. Fingers crossed


Trump is slapping an addition 10% duty on Chinese products, starting Sept 1 – cause he’s not happy. Well guess what? The hope of the FAA, Transport Canada, EASA & China all getting together and re-certifying the Max together, just went up in smoke. Those 1000 or so jets going to Chinese airlines? Looks bad, now…


Dont fly Ryanair because of 737. Wont fly BA eirher if they buy 737 max. Simples!

Robert Braisby

Both IAG and Ryanair have no doubt surveyed and calculated how many customers they will actually lose if they go ahead as planned and begin to fly the Max 8. A calculated risk, rather like the one Boeing took when revamping the 737 to save money for both themselves and American Airlines. Boeing wanted to avoid having to design a new aircraft from scratch, and American the cost of retraining pilots amongst other things. A perfect example of profit first people second, even at the risk of their passengers quite literally falling out of the sky. The Max 8 has… Read more »


Totally agree with all the above, I wont fly MAX8 no matter what they eventually call it. agree



Michel S.

Between their pilots planning to strike, their IT system crashing (both this month) and getting fined from their data breach last year, why would BA/IAG do this to themselves?

Sounds like more short-term thinking; they probably get a massive discount from Boeing.

I was already avoiding BA as much as possible, but if they really land these planes I will not fly it even if it’s 50% cheaper than other itineraries.


Please, please. I think you’ve got the 737 max for purely financial reasons; that is, you got a ‘bargain’ on the price. That is good business sense but NOT good passenger sense. We simply have lost trust in Boeing since their awful ‘not us at fault’ stance immediately after the accidents. We DON’T want to fly in a Max, however safe Boeing say it is. The bottom line is we don’t trust Boeing. We want to fly Airbus.

Muhammad Reshad Koodun

I think Mr Welsh comments is an absolute disgrace, especially the letter of intent of up to 200 Boeing 737 Max. There’s no need for the letter of intent. Stick with Airbus A320 family.