Boeing 737 MAX

  • IAG, one of the world’s largest airline groups announced Tuesday that it will buy 200 of Boeing’s 737 Max jet.
  • Its the first large, public purchase since the Max was grounded worldwide after the second fatal crash in a few months.
  • Boeing has taken a reputational hit since. But the IAG deal is a boost for the company, which is widely seen as being on the back foot.

PARIS, FRANCE — The parent company of British Airways said Tuesday that it is buying a new fleet of Boeing 737 Max jets — the first big-ticket order for the plane since it was grounded around the world after two fatal crashes.

International Airlines Group (IAG) announced at the Paris Air Show that it will buy 200 of the jets in a deal worth around $24 billion.

Willie Walsh, the chief executive of IAG, said the company was “pleased” with the decision and that the Max “will be a great addition to IAG’s short-haul fleet.”

IAG is the parent company of British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Vueling.

It said that it will buy a combination of the 737 Max 8 and the larger 737 Max 10.

Read more: Airbus leapt ahead of Boeing in an untapped market by launching a smaller plane for long-haul flights

Kevin McAllister, the president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said that Boeing was “truly honored and humbled” that IAG placed its “trust and confidence and the 737 Max.”

He said the order was a vote of confidence in “the people of Boeing and our deep commitment to quality and safety above all else.”

FILE PHOTO: An aerial photo shows Boeing 737 MAX airplanes parked on the tarmac at the Boeing Factory in Renton, Washington, U.S. March 21, 2019.  REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Boeing has faced a reputational crisis as a result of the fatal crashes, which took almost 350 lives between them.

The first 737 Max, operated by Lion Air, crashed in March 2018, while an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max also crashed in March 2019.

The planes have been grounded around the world since the crash, and will remain grounded until the US Federal Aviation Administration approves a pending software update. 

CNN reported in May that an internal Boeing report showed it did not receive a single new order for a 737 Max, or any other aircraft, in the month of April.

The 737 Max crisis has cast a shadow over Boeing at this year’s Paris Air Show. The company has not announced any new planes — unlike its rival, Airbus — and started slowly on Monday with no new plane orders.

But it also announced on Tuesday that IAG committed to buying five of its 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at $1.5 billion, and that Korean Air had committed to buying 30 of the 787 Dreamliner.

IAG also announced a much smaller order on Tuesday for 14 Airbus A321XLR jets, which Airbus announced yesterday.

Follow all of Business Insider’s coverage from the Paris Air Show here.

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