International Airlines Group (IAG) – the parent company of airlines such as British Airways , Iberia and Aer Lingus – has revealed it plans to add 200 Boeing aircraft to its fleets.
The group has announced it signed a letter of intent with Boeing for 200 B737 aircraft, opting for a mixture 737-8 and 737-10 planes, powered by CFM Leap engines.
Currently Boeing 737 MAX planes have been grounded after the model was involved in two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
The letter of intent is still subject to a formal agreement between the two companies.
If the order – estimated at $24billion (approx £19billion) – does go ahead then the aircraft would be delivered between 2023 and 2027.
Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said in a statement: "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 shorthaul fleet.
"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."
IAG said that it anticipates the aircraft would be used across a number of its airlines such as Vueling, LEVEL plus British Airways at London Gatwick airport
Kevin McAllister, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO, added: "We are truly honored and humbled by the leadership at International Airlines Group for placing their trust and confidence in the 737 MAX and, ultimately, in the people of Boeing and our deep commitment to quality and safety above all else.
"We are delighted that the IAG team recognized the superior qualities of the 737 MAX and has indicated an intention to return to the Boeing 737 family. We look forward to building on our long-standing partnership with IAG for many years to come."
IAG also revealed this week that it has placed an order with Airbus for eight A321XLR aircraft for Iberia and six for Aer Lingus, plus 14 options.
The first deliveries are scheduled for 2023 and will be used to expand both airlines' existing long-haul fleets.
IAG said that these planes will be fitted with both Economy and Business Cabins, the latter which will include full flat seats.
Other highlights will encompass inflight entertainment, internet connectivity and ambient lighting.
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