Boeing secures 1st order this year for troubled 737 Max planes

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A Boeing 737 MAX jet lands following Federal Aviation Administration test flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington on June 29, 2020. (Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Wire)

A Boeing 737 MAX jet lands following Federal Aviation Administration test flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington on June 29, 2020. (Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Wire)

Boeing has secured its first order for the troubled 737 Max in nine months.

The planemaker said in a statement on Wednesday that Enter Air, Poland’s biggest charter carrier, has ordered two of the Max airplanes, the 737-8, with the option to buy two additional jets.

The order “underscores [Enter Air’s] confidence in the airplane and the men and women of Boeing,” Boeing’s vice president of sales, Ihssane Mounir, said in a statement.

Enter Air’s fleet currently includes 22 Next Generation 737s and two 737 Max airplanes. If the purchase agreement is fully exercised, its 737 Max fleet will rise to 10 aircraft, including existing unfilled orders, Boeing said.

The order is the first for the 737 Max since November 2019 when Boeing booked 30 orders at the Dubai Air Show, including 10 for Turkey’s SunExpress, according to a spokesperson. SunExpress is a joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines.

Boeing is still awaiting government approval to fly the aircraft again after it was grounded in March 2019 following two crashes that took the lives of 346 people. Airlines have canceled more than 400 orders for the Max this year, the company said last week, as demand for air travel collapsed because of the pandemic.

“Following the rigorous checks that the 737 Max is undergoing, I am convinced it will be the best aircraft in the world for many years to come,” Enter Air director Grzegorz Polaniecki said in a statement.

The Polish airline will receive compensation for the commercial impact of the grounding of the 737 Max, the details of which remain confidential, Boeing said Wednesday. The companies have also agreed to a revised delivery schedule in response to the current slowdown in aviation.

The industry is facing its worst crisis in history, with demand for air travel not expected to recover until at least 2024. Airlines have canceled hundreds of orders with Boeing, while European rival Airbus has reported a 40% slump in activity in its commercial aircraft business. Several carriers have had to borrow money from governments or raise fresh capital from shareholders to survive.

Boeing said this week that it is planning to extend job cuts beyond the 10% target it previously announced, or about 16,000 positions.

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