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Industry: BA-owner IAG gives Boeing a lift with order for 200 of its grounded MAX 737 jets

Boeing received a much-needed vote of confidence in its beleaguered 737 MAX planes after British Airways-owner IAG signed a deal to buy 200 of them.

All 737 MAX aircraft worldwide have been grounded since March after two deadly crashes.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh believes the jet will return to service in the next few months and that it will make 'a great addition to our fleet'

The company has ordered a mix of 737-8 and 737-10 planes that will be delivered between 2023 and 2027. 

At list prices the deal is worth £19billion but Walsh has negotiated a substantial discount.

The planes will be used on 'a number' of IAG's airlines, including Vueling and British Airways.

Walsh said: 'I have great confidence in Boeing and great confidence in the Max

'This has been a tough negotiation. It's a good deal for us and, I hope, a good deal for Boeing.'

In March, an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed, killing all 157 people on board, five months after a 737, run by Lion Air in Indonesia, crashed, killing all 189 people on board. Both tragedies were blamed on a software glitch.

Walsh said that although the two MAX crashes are 'very much' on his mind, it is a 'great aircraft'.

The deal was announced on the second day of the Paris Airshow, which alternates venues each year between Farnborough in the UK and the French capital.

On the first day, Boeing did not announce any significant orders, while rival Airbus announced orders for 118 of its planes.

IAG and Boeing have inked a letter of intent, meaning it could change later or IAG could pull out. But it is a significant coup for Boeing as it tries to dispel worries about the safety of its aircraft.

Boeing expects regulators' approval for its planes to resume flying by the end of this year.

Its shares rose more than 3 per cent.


By: Francesca Washtell


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