- Boeing has sold 60 of its 737 Max jets so far at the Dubai Airshow. The orders came from three different airline customers.
- The orders are among the first that Boeing has received since the 737 Max was grounded in March 2018 — aside from a tentative order for 200 placed at the Paris Airshow in June — representing a possible end to the order drought for the plane.
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Boeing has ended an increasingly worrying sales drought for its grounded 737 Max jet, with 60 planes sold to three customers during the first two days of the Dubai airshow.
Since all variants of the 737 Max were grounded by regulators around the world in March 2019, Boeing has struggled to secure orders for the latest version of its best-selling jetliner.
At the Paris airshow in June, Boeing scored a major vote of confidence in plane type with a tentative order for 200 from IAG, the European airline conglomerate that owns British Airways and Spain’s Iberia, among other carriers. The deal has yet to be firmed.
IAG was expected to receive a substantial discount on the order, which has a $24 billion valuation at list prices.
Since the grounding, Boeing’s only other orders were a single 737 Max from a business jet customer in September, and an order for four Max aircraft in April — the order appeared to have been converted from another order for a different plane type.
At the Dubai Airshow, Boeing secured an order from SunExpress, a leisure-focused subsidiary of Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, for 10 jets on Monday.
“We have full confidence that Boeing will deliver us a safe, reliable, and efficient aircraft,” SunExpress CEO Jens Bischof said. “However, it goes without saying that this requires the undisputed airworthiness of the model, granted by all relevant authorities.”
On Tuesday, the plane maker announced a sale of 30 737 Max 8 to Air Astana, the Kazakh flag carrier, which said it planned to use the planes for its low-cost subsidiary FlyArystan. Boeing also confirmed to Business Insider that it had sold 20 of the planes to an unnamed airline customer, including 10 of the Max 7 and 10 of the Max 10 variants.
A Boeing spokesperson said that the customer planned to announce the order at a later date in its home market.
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While none of the orders are game-changers, they represent an affirmation from a variety of customers in expanding markets for Boeing. The orders add several months to Boeing’s manufacturing backlog, and could beget additional orders from more customers.
The grounding has provided Airbus with opportunities to win over potential Boeing customers with its new A320neo series. Airbus has also won orders by releasing extended range variants of the neo. Airbus secured 130 orders for A320neo variants at the airshow through Tuesday.
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