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Monarch Airlines Finalizes $3.2 Bln Order For 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8 Aircraft

Aerospace and defense giant Boeing Co. (BA: Quote) said Friday that UK-based Monarch Airlines has finalized an order for 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, valued at more than $3.2 billion at current list prices.

The order was originally announced at the Farnborough International Airshow in July, when Monarch Airlines selected Boeing as its preferred bidder for fleet replacement. The order, which includes options for 15 additional 737 MAX 8 aircraft, also marks the beginning of the British carrier’s transition to an all-Boeing single-aisle fleet.

Boeing noted that the 737 MAX has accumulated 2,325 orders to date from 48 customers and is the fastest selling airplane in the company’s history.

The 737 MAX is a new-engine variant of the world’s best selling Boeing 737 airplane and builds on the strengths of Next-Generation 737. The plane incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements.

The 737 MAX will be 14 percent more fuel-efficient than the Next-Generation 737s – and 20 percent better than the original Next-Generation 737s when they first entered service. The 737 MAX 8 will have an 8 percent per seat operating cost advantage over the A320neo aircraft from French aerospace giant Airbus Group N.V. (EADSF, EADSY).

Monrach Airlines, based at London Luton Airport, also operates from five other U.K. bases – London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, East Midlands and Leeds-Bradford. The carrier predominantly serves holiday destinations around the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands as well as European ski resorts.

On October 24, Monarch Airlines and other parts of UK-based independent leisure travel group Monarch Holdings Limited completed a restructuring program and sale of 90 percent of the group to Greybull Capital LLP, under which it secured £125 million of permanent capital and liquidity facilities.

Andrew Swaffield, CEO of the Monarch Group said, “Seven days after welcoming new owners into the business, this order is a demonstration of our commitment to the future and the evolution of Monarch as a distinctive European scheduled leisure carrier. The 737 MAX 8 fits our network strategy of serving our traditional European leisure routes in greater frequency, providing increased choice and service for Monarch customers, with significantly improved unit costs to our business.”

BA is trading at $125.22, up $1.40 or 1.13 percent on a volume of 1.37 million shares.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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