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Boeing finds the first buyer for a 737 Max since its inception

Boeing ( BA ) and IAG, the owner of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and other European airlines, issued a letter of intent to purchase the jets at the Paris Air Show.
Although the IAG uses Boeing's jumbo jets, the purchase is a major shift for the IAG, which now almost exclusively uses aircraft of the rival's [A320 family] Airbus ( EADSF ). for his single-aisle jets.
The Boeing 737 Max jets were launched in mid-March after fatal accidents in Ethiopia and Indonesia. Boeing has been working to find a solution for the automatic safety function that is at the center of the crash investigation. There is no time frame for restarting the 737 Max.

"We fully rely on Boeing and expect the aircraft to be successfully back in service in the coming months, following regulatory approval," he said he Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG.

The 737 Max is the best-selling Boeing jet and has a backlog of nearly 5,000 aircraft ordered. The jets have been built since the primer, albeit at a reduced pace. But it has not made deliveries. It has also reported no sales of 737 Max since grounding.

"We truly feel honored and honored by the leadership of the International Airlines Group for trusting Boeing's 737 Max and ultimately the people," said Kevin McAllister, CEO of the company's commercial aircraft division.

Boeing said the list price for 200 of the 737 Max jets would be approximately $ 24 billion. However, an industry expert said that any sale of the 737 Max is likely to result in significant discounts at this time.

"This is a very positive development for both sides: Boeing has been honored by a prestigious airline group, and the IAG receives a high approval discounted jet," said Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst at Teal Group. 1

9659009] Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for an opinion on the price that IAG would pay under this agreement.

The last sale of commercial aircraft of any kind took place at the end of March before Tuesday, Tuesday 30th sold the 787 Dreamliner to Korean Air.

Although the sale of the IAG is ongoing, it is a far more significant announcement than the sale of Korean Air, and not only because the 737 Max was the first Focus on so many questions and uncertainties.

"Memoranda of Understanding are not generally meaningful, but they are very meaningful," Abou said lafia.

Boeing and Airbus are a duopoly and basically control the commercial jet market for airlines around the world. But as much as they compete, it is usually very difficult to get an airline flying a manufacturer's aircraft to buy versions of a competing aircraft. They prefer to allow pilots to move freely between all the aircraft that could be deployed on a particular route, and two types of aircraft also increase parts and maintenance costs.

"At this stage of the ordering cycle, it's pretty unusual for an airline to switch," Aboulafia said. "It is certainly remarkable."

Nevertheless, there may be advantages when an airline buys a competing aircraft type, says Walsh, CEO of the IAG.

"Given the scale of our business, I see no reason to limit ourselves to Airbus." That's not healthy. There is [should be] competition between aircraft manufacturers. "

Meanwhile, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said to CNN on Tuesday that he is not too worried about losing that sale to Boeing.

I do not think it's a hit, "he said," We're very successful at the moment with our own gear. We have a lot of orders and we see the future very much [positively]. "

And Aboulafia said he does not expect that this will trigger a flood of orders for the 737 Max, many airlines already have orders for the single aisle

"That does not change the fact that most people already have what they need in the pipeline," he said.

] Due to the large order backlog of 737 Max., It is unlikely that IAG will receive these aircraft over a period of at least several years, until then the current questions about the safety of the 737 Max could long be forgotten by many aviators.

– CNN's Melissa Bell contributed to this report.

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