Dubai leasing firm buys Boeing’s troubled MAX jets

RENTON, Washington: In this file photograph taken on Dec 8, 2015, Boeing’s first 737 MAX named the “Spirit of Renton” is parked on the tarmac at the Boeing factory. – AFP

PARIS: US plane builder Boeing said yesterday that it had sold 15 of its troubled 737 MAX jets to Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, a leasing company, for an undisclosed amount. Worth around $1.8 billion at list prices, it was “the first direct 737 MAX purchase from Boeing” by DAE, which had until now been “buying jets from existing customers and leasing them back”, the manufacturer said.

The top-selling 737 MAX only returned to the skies late last year after being grounded for 20 months following two fatal crashes. But carriers this month pulled a number of individual aircraft from service over potential electrical faults, including 30 at Southwest Airlines, 16 at United and 17 at American Airlines. All three US carriers still have MAX planes in their fleet not affected by the issue.

DAE chief executive Firoz Tarapore said in the Boeing statement that his firm is “confident in the success of these aircraft”. “An increasing number of global aviation regulators are returning the MAX to the skies,” Tarapore added. DAE’s fleet numbers around 425 planes, of which 162 are from Boeing including the latest order.

Last year it bought up 23 737 MAX from American Airlines and Brazilian carrier GOL under deals to lease them back to the carriers. Sold as offering more range, reliability and fuel efficiency than earlier aircraft, the 737 MAX has also seen recent orders from Southwest, Ryanair and others. – AFP


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