Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Monarch Airlines (London-Luton) today announced that the two companies are finalizing terms and working towards a Purchase Agreement for 30 737 MAX 8s, marking the start of a fleet transition for Monarch to Boeing single-aisle airplanes.
The order, valued at $3.1 billion at current list prices, will be posted to the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website when finalized.
According to Boeing, “The 737 MAX has surpassed 2,000 orders from 42 customers worldwide, the most successful launch in Boeing history. The 737 MAX incorporates the latest-technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.
The 737 MAX 8 provides customers with more flexibility and cost efficiency than the competition in the heart of the single-aisle market. Airlines operating the 737 MAX 8 will see an 8 percent operating cost per seat advantage over the A320neo. In addition to lower fuel use, the 737 MAX reduces the operational noise footprint by 40 percent compared to today’s airplane.”
Headquartered at London Luton Airport, but also operating from five other U.K. bases, Monarch predominantly serves holiday destinations around the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands as well as European ski resorts. Founded in 1968, the British carrier’s passenger numbers reached nearly 7 million in 2013, a record for the airline, with a fleet made up of more than 40 airplanes.
Monarch had been adding Airbus A320 Family aircraft so this is an important switchover catch for Boeing.
In the meantime, Monarch releases this statement:
The Monarch Group, the UK’s leading independent travel group, today announces that it has chosen Boeing as its preferred bidder for its narrow-bodied fleet replacement. The Group is in the process of finalizing terms and working towards signing a Purchase Agreement with Boeing for the purchase of 30 Next Generation Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, with options on a further 15 aircraft.
The announcement with Boeing represents the latest major milestone in the transformation and renewal of The Monarch Group, and is integral to realizing the opportunity for Monarch Airlines to differentiate itself in its market whilst bringing back warmth and a personal touch to European air travel.
Iain Rawlinson, Executive Chairman of the Monarch Group, said: “Today’s announcement is an important milestone in an exhaustive three year evaluation process, and a key part of The Monarch Group’s transformation and renewal. Boeing truly understood our business and put together a complete package that fits extremely well with our ambitions for the Group. With this announcement, we begin another chapter in our long and fruitful relationship with Boeing – something which now stretches over 40 years.”
Andrew Swaffield, Managing Director of Monarch Airlines, said: “I joined Monarch Airlines because I saw that it has a unique brand, and exceptional people. We see an opportunity to bring back warmth and a personal touch to a very commoditised European aviation market. Our size enables us to deliver on this promise. With this fleet replacement we are choosing the correct number of aircraft and the correct size of aircraft to help us create a year round efficient European operation which maximizes profitability. Our process has been rigorous and fair and I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead it to a successful conclusion.
“Having reviewed all of the options in the marketplace, we concluded that the Boeing 737 MAX 8 is the aircraft that best fits our future route network strategy, enabling us to tightly control our unit costs whilst offering a superior service to our customers.”