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Ryanair agrees to buy 75 737 MAX jets in boost for Boeing
[SEATTLE] Budget airline Ryanair on Thursday ordered 75 additional Boeing 737 MAX jets with a catalogue value of US$9 billion, throwing a commercial lifeline to the embattled US planemaker after regulators lifted a 20-month safety ban.
The order from the Irish airline, Europe's biggest low-cost carrier and one of Boeing's most important customers, is the largest for the jet since 2018 before two fatal crashes led to its grounding.
Ryanair already has 135 of the 197-seat MAX 200 on order, and expects to receive its first jet early next year.
Ryanair did not disclose the price it will pay, but traders say deals typically include discounts in excess of 50 per cent of catalogue prices.
Ryanair was expected to win an even bigger discount of well over two-thirds in return for a headline-grabbing relaunch of the MAX that helps fill gaps left by cancellations, sources said.
The order could be a pivotal moment in efforts by Boeing to rehabilitate the MAX, its fastest-selling model before it was grounded in March 2019 following crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in which 346 people died.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that Ryanair was close to placing an order for up to 75 Boeing jets.