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Dubai Airshow: SunExpress in new $1.2 billion MAX order

Posted 19 November 2019 · Add Comment

Turkish-German leisure operator, SunExpress, joined International Airlines Group (IAG) in a vote of confidence in the grounded Boeing 737 MAX by exercising 10 options for the type at the show.

The airline, which already has 32 on firm order from a 2014 contract, is owned 50-50 by Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa.

IAG made commitments for 200 MAXs at the Paris Air Show in June in what was seen as a major morale-booster for Boeing, which has been battered by criticism over the MAX since two fatal crashes led to it being grounded worldwide in March.

The order for the MAX 8 variant is worth $1.2 billion at list prices.

SunExpress is a major leisure airline that operated 84 aircraft in the recent 2019 summer season – around 60 737-800s and seven Airbus A330-200s, plus aircraft that it traditionally leases in to increase capacity over the peak summer period.

The airline had been due to take eight MAX 8s this year, plus a further five in 2020. CEO, Jens Bischof, said he now expected all 13 to be delivered in 2020.

Bischof said he was “very happy to enhance our commitment to this ecologically friendly and fuel-efficient aircraft”.

No delivery dates for the new batch of 10 were given: “Our first goal is return to service,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO, Stan Deal. “That is going to pace [deliveries].”

Asked how he felt passengers would react to flying in a MAX after it returned to service, Bischof said the airline and its executives had to demonstrate confidence in the aircraft. “I’m a family man with two kids and a wife. For that reason, yes, it will take time. I think we have to do a lot of communications and show our commitment to this aircraft.”

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