IAG, the parent company of British Airways, has ordered dozens of planes of a type designed for Ryanair.
The group, which also includes Ireland’s Aer Lingus and Spain’s Iberia and Vueling, has ordered 25 new Boeing planes known as 737-8200s, to be delivered between 2023 and 2027.
The type is a high-capacity version of the Boeing 737 Max, with an additional emergency exit fitted.
In the Ryanair configuration, it has an additional eight seats within the same basic fuselage, bringing capacity to 197 passengers.
IAG has also ordered 25 of Boeing’s largest Max aircraft, the 737-10.
The planes “can be used by any airline in the group for fleet replacement,” the company said. Today, individual carriers use Airbus A320 series aircraft.
Airline schedules analyst Sean Moulton said he thought the plane would be earmarked for low-cost divisions: “It’s not clear what brand they will be used for, but I suspect it will be the new British Airways EuroFlyer subsidiary at Gatwick and Vueling.” ”.
In addition, IAG has options on a further 100 aircraft, with no type specified, with possible delivery between 2025 and 2028.
Luis Gallego, Group CEO, said: “The addition of the new Boeing 737s is an important part of IAG’s short-haul fleet renewal.
“These next-generation aircraft are more fuel efficient than the ones they will replace and are in line with our commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
The initial order is worth $3.125bn (£2.53bn) at list prices, but IAG says it has “negotiated a substantial discount”.
The group added: “IAG has a range of financing options and will choose the most suitable source closer to delivery.”
The Boeing 737 Max entered commercial service in 2017 as the latest version of the world’s most successful jet airliner.
But the plane was involved in fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019, which cost the lives of 346 passengers and crew. The guy was grounded around the world for almost two years.
Boeing was found to have installed software that could be activated by a single faulty instrument and force the plane’s nose down. A comprehensive program of modifications was implemented before the 737 Max was allowed to return to carrying passengers.
In 2019, shortly after the plane was grounded, IAG signed a letter of intent with Boeing for up to 200 aircraft.
Ryanair took delivery of its first 737-8200 in June 2021. At the time, Europe’s largest low-cost airline CEO Michael O’Leary said: “Our customers will enjoy more legroom, new Boeing ‘Sky Interiors’ and lower rates. , while reducing their environmental footprint by switching to these new aircraft.”