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Photo: Boeing

IAG backs Boeing

International Airlines Group has announced its intent to buy 200 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 10 jets.

International Airlines Group (IAG) has announced that it plans to build its future fleet with the purchase of 200 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.  The group and Boeing said the two companies have been in discussions regarding the opportunity and signed a letter of intent at the Paris Air Show in a deal that would be valued at more than $24 billion.

IAG is the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and LEVEL, which together fly more than 113 million passengers a year. The group has been a long-time operator of Boeing twin-aisle aircraft.

Earlier this year, IAG group committed to and finalized a major order for Boeing’s newest long-haul model, the 777X, to complement its fleet of current-generation 777s and new 787 Dreamliners.

In the single-aisle segment, IAG and its affiliates formerly operated Classic 737 aircraft. Currently, however, its fleet is almost exclusively Airbus A320 family aircraft.

Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, has said the group would consider the 737 MAX as part of diversifying its future fleet to spur competition.

Confident intent
“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,” said Walsh. “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.”

In selecting the 737 MAX, IAG says it will fly a combination of the 737 MAX 8, which seats up to 178 passengers in a two-class configuration, and the larger 737 MAX 10 jet, which can accommodate as many as 230 passengers.

The airline did not disclose a specific split between the two MAX models, though it anticipates deploying the aircraft at a number of the group’s airlines, including Vueling and LEVEL.

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