The US Federal Aviation Administration faulted Boeing for not telling regulators for more than a year that a safety indicator in the cockpit of the top-selling plane did not work as intended.
Speaking before an industry-wide Paris Air Show, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told reporters the company's communication with regulators, customers and the public "was not consistent and that's unacceptable".
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"I'd say we're being open-minded to all the input we get", he said. IAG, led by a former 737 pilot, would take delivery of the planes between 2023 and 2027 assuming the deal is formalized.
An example is Boeing 727 that had four fatal crashes after it came into service in the mid-1960s.
- A number of countries have banned Boeing's 737 MAX 8 medium-haul workhorse jet from their airspace in response to the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 people on board.
"This is the most trying of times", Boeing commercial airplanes boss Kevin McAllister told a press briefing.
Boeing climbed 3.5 percent to $367.21 at 11:28 a.m.in NY, extending gains after announcing the Max deal.
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The aerospace industry's biggest annual event, which alternates with Britain's Farnborough Air Show, is traditionally a slugging match between Airbus and Boeing sales teams in the $150 billion a year commercial aircraft market.
"Obviously it's a breakthrough for Boeing to be able to say that a major airline has shifted to Boeing and an endorsement of the future of this aircraft", said Goodbody brokerage analyst Mark Simpson. The amounts are based on list prices, before customary discounts.
Boeing admitted engineers realised within months of the plane's 2017 debut that the sensor warning light only worked when paired with a separate, optional feature but did not report the issue for more than a year after the crash in Indonesia. Walsh stressed it was up to up to the USA and global regulators to review the fix.
"It was very helpful to see it in operation and understand the changes Boeing were proposing", Walsh said.
Both low-cost-carriers now fly only Airbus aircraft.
But while the deal rescued Boeing's fortunes inside the air show, safety experts stressed it remains unclear how and when regulators will allow the plane to fly.
But the planemakers remain confident of continued strong demand for more fuel-efficient jets as emissions regulations tighten and air travel continues to rise, driven by Asia's growing middle classes.
American Airlines Group Inc is edging toward a deal with Airbus to buy up to 50 newly launched A321XLR extended-range narrow-body aircraft, including some converted from existing orders of other models, people familiar with the matter said.