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.
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.
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.
And IAG says on the London Stock Exchange that the 737s (if firmed up) would be destined for “Vueling, LEVEL plus British Airways at London Gatwick airport.” https://t.co/qDOCdDRK74Advertisement:
— Danny Lee (@JournoDannyAero) June 18, 2019
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.
Thank you International Airlines Group for your trust and confidence in the 737 MAX and the people of Boeing: IAG Announces Intent to Buy 200 Boeing 737 MAX Airplanes. #PAS19
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) June 18, 2019
“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!