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British Airways owner orders 50 Boeing 737 MAX jets

LONDON (AFP) – British Airways owner IAG said yesterday it has ordered 50 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft worth USD6.25 billion at list prices in a boost for the crisis-hit jet after two deadly crashes.

The news comes amid recovery in the global aviation sector, but analysts expressed doubt over whether it was a vote of confidence for Boeing or the industry.

“International Airlines Group has reached agreement with Boeing to order 25 737-8200 and 25 737-10 aircraft, plus 100 options,” IAG said in a statement, adding it had been given a “substantial” discount.

“The aircraft will be delivered between 2023 and 2027 and can be used by any airline in the group for fleet replacement.” IAG, which also owns Spanish carriers Iberia and Vueling, said the order was subject to approval by its shareholders. The European airlines giant had announced a letter of intent to buy 200 MAX jets three years ago at the Paris Air Show, despite deadly crashes involving the aircraft in 2018 and 2019.

“The addition of new Boeing 737s is an important part of IAG’s short-haul fleet renewal,” IAG Chief Executive Luis Gallego said in the statement. “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.”