British Airways parent company International Airlines Group has ordered 50 737 aircraft from Boeing.
IAG first signed a Letter of Intent to order up to 200 737 aircraft in June 2019.
The Airbus A320 series aircraft is the mainstay of the short haul operations of IAG airlines. There was a perceived need in IAG to introduce competition between Airbus and Boeing for short haul aircraft orders.
Whilst Airbus indicated it wanted to offer a rival bid, IAG has now converted its Letter of Intent to a firm order from Boeing.
IAG Orders 25 737-8200 and 25 737-10 aircraft
IAG has ordered 25 737-8200 and 25 737-10 aircraft. These will be delivered between 2023 and 2027. IAG also has options for 100 more aircraft.
The group has not specified which airline the aircraft will be delivered to. At the time of the Letter of Intent it was said they would be allocated to BA at Gatwick and Vueling.
It is highly likely that, as with new Airbus A320neo aircraft, the configuration will be standardised as much as possible so aircraft can be moved between IAG airlines within a short space of time.
The 737-8200 has capacity for nearly 200 passengers. The 737-10 aircraft can seat up to 230 passengers. IAG will no doubt seek to maximise the seating configuration of both aircraft.
Given BA has downsized its short haul operations at Gatwick, whether IAG will add another short haul aircraft model will depend BA’s commercial performance at Gatwick.
It is a safe assumption that IAG has secured a competitive deal with Boeing given its recent woes and prolonged delays to the delivery of 787-10 and 777X aircraft to BA.