International Airlines Group (IAG) has finally decided to follow through on a commitment for an order for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
The order covers a combined total of 50 737-8-200s and 737-10s, plus 100 options. The exact splits have not been defined at this time
The 737-8-200 will enable IAG to configure the airplane with up to 200 seats, increasing revenue potential and reducing fuel consumption. Meanwhile, the 737-10 seats up to 230 passengers in a single-class configuration and can fly up to 3,300 miles, with the ability to serve 99% of routes that could be operated with a Boeing 757.
The 737 MAX incorporates the CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market, with a 14% efficiency gain over the previous 737 NextGen.
The announcement by Boeing finalises a commitment made by IAG for the 737 at the 2019 Paris Air Show and is subject to approval by IAG shareholders
International Airlines Group is the owner of various airlines including Aer Lingus, British Airways, LEVEL, Iberia and Vueling, as well as its group cargo arm IAG Cargo.
Luis Gallego, IAG´s chief executive said:
“The addition of new Boeing 737s is an important part of IAG´s short-haul fleet renewal. These latest generation aircraft are more fuel efficient than those they will replace and in line with our commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050,”
Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes said:
“With the selection of the 737-8-200 and larger 737-10, IAG has invested in a sustainable and profitable future, as both variants will significantly lower operating costs and CO2 emissions,”
“Today’s agreement for up to 150 airplanes, including 100 options, is a welcome addition of the 737 to IAG´s short-haul fleets and reflects our commitment to support the Group’s continued network recovery and future growth with Boeing’s unrivalled family of airplanes.”
The commitment by IAG Group was made at the Paris 2019 Air Show and has been dangling in the air since then.
Even though IAG’s short-haul fleet is primarily Airbus-based across all its airlines, it seems this order is firing a shot at Airbus to improve their offerings – mostly in the cost camp.
It’ll be interesting to see where these aircraft could end up – certainly, the Boeing 737-8-200 could be used in the airlines’ low cost-base units (think Vueling, as well as the Gatwick operation). As for the Boeing 737-10, it has a lot of options that could be tempting in terms of passenger count and range.
Suffice to say – the game is on.
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