IAG Intends To Purchase 200 Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft For LEVEL And Vueling

British Airways owner IAG has announced an intention to purchase up to 200 Boeing 737 MAX jets in a nod of confidence to the aircraft. The order is significant as it comes at a time when the MAX is grounded worldwide due to two fatal crashes.

IAG Boeing 737 MAX Order
The IAG Group has indicated an interested in purchasing 200 Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft. Photo: Boeing

There were concerns that Boeing would not do well with orders at this year’s Paris Air Show, given its current situation. The manufacturer has not been able to bring two important aircraft in its line up to show the world. The Boeing 737 MAX is currently grounded, while the Boeing 777X is yet to take its first flight.

Significant order

This order is a significant order for Boeing. The International Airlines Group owns a number of European airlines. This includes British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling, and LEVEL. Just earlier today IAG picked the Airbus A321XLR for Aer Lingus and Iberia.

While IAG has a number of long haul Boeing aircraft, it has typically favoured the Airbus A320 for short-haul operations. While a Boeing press release states that the aircraft would be planned to go to LEVEL and Vueling, apparently an announcement on the London Stock Exchange says otherwise.

According to the South China Morning Post’s aviation correspondent Danny Lee, the report on the London Stock Exchange shows that British Airways would take some of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. BA’s 737 MAXs would be based at London’s Gatwick Airport.

Trust in the 737 MAX

By announcing the intention for such a large 737 MAX order, IAG is clearly stating that they trust the grounded aircraft. At a time when some carriers are reportedly considering the future of their 737 MAX fleets, this will come as a boon for Boeing. Indeed, IAG will certainly be respected in the aviation community by others.

From today’s news, the airline group clearly believes that Boeing can satisfactorily fix the MCAS issue. If they weren’t convinced in the future of the aircraft, they wouldn’t make this announcement. However, some have speculated that IAG will have received a good deal on the aircraft from Boeing in order to make this announcement during the Paris Air Show.

“Every confidence in Boeing”

Speaking on the announcement, the CEO of IAG, Willie Walsh told how: “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.”

Before adding: “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.”

What do you think of IAG’s announcement? Let us know in the comments!

14 comments
  1. Wow .This is a huge order from IAG,200 Boeing 737 Max? My guess is that Boeing must have committed to an enormous discount and to exchange the aircrafts for another Boeing Aircraft with no additional cost,should the European Aviation Agency not certify its absolute safety.

  2. After everything that has been written or broadcasted about the 737 MAX woes recently for IAG to announce an intention to buy 200 of these planes doesn’t seem logical, especially given how many A320 types the group has and that they have just ordered more.
    One can only assume they got one hell of a deal on a plane type that is an aging design, has many issues and a new design must be being considered for replacement by Boeing sooner rather than later

  3. Lifelines come at unexpected times. Paris? An Airbus stronghold? 200 Max by 2023-24. Okay, Boeing intrinsic values still live. Good faith is saying Boeing will make a safe Max. Yes it can and it will or Boeing is done. IAG left the door ajar with an LOI agreement. It’s on Boeing and it is ready for the next batch of “Just Good Enough Idiots” to flood the stockholder thinking. Make it right or get out of the business!

  4. They certainly managed to get the planes for the price of peanuts! Other than a HUGE financial saving for the group, there is pretty much no reason to make such a decision and announcement. Besides Boeing has been know to give nice discounts in times of trial like they did with Ryan Air after the 9/11 catastrophe.

  5. What a weird announcement yesterday at the Paris air show!
    Remember that it’s an LOI and not a firm order, and an LOI can be walked away from at any time (like Emirates walked away from thair LOI to purchase Dreamliners). So it’s some nice symbolism for Boeing, without any tangible downside for IAG at this juncture. I saw other commentators mentioning Brexit in this regard: “show the Yanks that the Brits are standing firm beside them” (Mr. Trump likes this type of symbolism). And, yes, I’m aware that IAG isn’t a state-owned airline, but there is such a thing as “Britain, Inc.”
    Seeing as Vueling is currently an Airbus-only LCC, it doesn’t make sense to start using a second aircraft type there; putting (some of) them at LEVEL would make more sense, seeing as they currently have no narrowbodies. Switching to a BA sub-type at Gatwick is weird.
    Maybe LionAir has cancelled its 737 MAX order behind the scenes, and BA got the dregs at a very sharp price.

  6. I think that Willy Walsh has finally lost his mind ordering a grounded non-proven product. The LOI also raises questions of below cost predatory pricing by Boeing.

  7. Inconceivable, that no matter how much of a “GOOD DEAL” this Letter Of Intend had for the IAG Group under Walsh, you don’t Mess with Passengers Lives simply to show support for a Supplier, and at this stage, not accurately demonstrated that the Solution is Evident. This exaggerated Propaganda Stunt may end up costing IAG diminished passenger/revenue. I would step in any other Boeing plane, but the B737 MAX. The Structural deficiencies will never be resolved by an Electronic Component Designed to fix Structural Defects.

  8. Cannot understand the logic behind this deal, the 737Max is still under a cloud. Must have been one heck of a deal from Boeing. The A320 is a much better plane, the 737 design is old. I wonder how shareholders in IAG will view the deal?

  9. If any pilot is willing to fly this plane, he must be thinking of his own life, therefore the passengers shouldn’t have much to worry about Anyway, Boeing isn’t stupid and they would never allow this plane back into the skies if they weren’t 100% sure that it is safe.

    I flown on many planes more dubious than this, especially Ilyushins and Tupolevs, and I’m still alive, so I wouldn’t hesitate to fly on the 737 Max!

    1. “Boeing isn’t stupid and they would never allow this plane back into the skies if they weren’t 100% sure that it is safe.”
      Well, Boeing let the MAX into the skies first time round, even though they knew it wasn’t safe, so what makes you sure they won’t do it a second time? They’re still vehemently opposed to mandatory simulator training before re-introduction, so they evidently (still) think dollars are more important than lives…

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