A top Boeing executive apologised Monday for two crashes of 737 MAX jets that together killed 346 people, disasters which have pushed safety to the top of the agenda as aerospace firms gathered for the opening of the Paris Air Show.
The LOI is a major boost to Boeing after aviation regulators grounded the worldwide 737 MAX fleet after two fatal crashes. The Boeing 737 MAX is now grounded, while the Boeing 777X is yet to take its first flight.
"Letters of intent generally don't mean much, but this one is extremely meaningful", said Aboulafia.
The deal is not a finalized order but a letter of intent to buy a mix of 737 MAX 8s and MAX 10s, the biggest variant, the first of which still hasn't flown.
Boeing now has 140 737 MAXs parked on its tarmac waiting for delivery, and has had to reduce monthly production to 42 planes from 52 previously. That removes another prop for the battered discounter's share price, which hit an eight-year low last week.
Saudi Arabian Airlines, which already has 35 planes on order from the Airbus A320neo family, said its additional purchases included 15 of the A321XLR jet and that it also has an option to buy as many as 35 more A320neo aircraft.
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In both cases, an anti-stall system known as MCAS forced the nose of the aircraft downwards as pilots battled to overhaul it.
'I'd say we're being open-minded to all the input we get, ' Boeing CFO Greg Smith told the outlet in an interview on the sidelines of the Paris Airshow. The company also said it had "no plans" to change the name of the 737 Max at the moment, but it's also worth noting that the planes are still grounded, so a name change probably wouldn't do them any good, yet.
"The point was to provide Boeing's customers with a new advanced aircraft while minimizing the training cost associated with a different aircraft certification", Carey wrote in his planned testimony.
The damage to the company's own name, as well as its jetliner brands, is just one aspect of the crisis that Boeing teams are managing from a Seattle-area war room.
An Airbus A330 NEO performs at the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France June 19, 2019. IAG has always been a Boeing supporter but now has a large fleet of Airbus A320's and boss Willy Walsh has said in the past he believes his company's buying power should be used to encourage competition amongst the plane makers. Walsh, who led British Airways before taking over the parent group, is both opportunistic and a shrewd negotiator.
Specific mention of British Airways' Gatwick base, which has often received the aircraft dregs of its flagship Heathrow operation, suggested that British Airways would keep the A320 family at Heathrow. It's the premiere event for airline manufacturers, as they traditionally book orders from airline companies around the globe. "If you ask me, I would get on board a Max tomorrow".