Boeing Co. Sunday lost a deal for 737 Max jetliners in one of the first tangible signs the crisis around the plane could shift business to European rival Airbus SE.
Saudi Arabia’s flyadeal Sunday said it would buy up to 50 Airbus A320neo planes, the direct rival to Boeing’s
Max, which has been idled globally in the wake of two crashes within five months.
The deal between the discount arm of flag carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines Corp., or Saudia, has a value of more than $5.5 billion, based on Airbus
list prices that don’t include industry-standard discounts.
The airline, which was launched in September 2017 using Airbus A320 single-aisle planes, last December made a commitment to buy the Max. The deal came only weeks after a Max, operated by Indonesian budget airline Lion Air, crashed, killing all 189 aboard. The Saudi commitment for up to 50 Max jets had a value of $5.9 billion before industry-standard discounts, Boeing said at the time, but it was never formally concluded.
Boeing’s Max deliveries have been frozen since about mid-March following a second crash of one of the jets, in Ethiopia.
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