Turkey’s SunExpress announced on Monday it is buying an additional 10 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, on top of 32 already ordered, endorsing the US plane manufacturer’s grounded jet, Reuters reported.
The new, billion-dollar order, announced at the Dubai Airshow, is Boeing’s second 737 MAX order after the deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet in March led to the worldwide grounding of the MAX fleet. British Airways-owner IAG signed a letter of intent for 200 737 MAX planes in June.
Leisure airline SunExpress, a joint venture of Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, said in a statement that it signed the additional order on Monday and that the purchase was valued at $1.2 billion according to list prices.
The airline expressed confidence in the jet’s capabilities and its return to service, even as Turkish Airlines (THY) has been critical of Boeing during the 737 MAX crisis.
“We believe this was and is the right decision for SunExpress in order to survive and be successful. … The economics and the ecological advantages of this aircraft are valid and confirmed,” Chief Executive Officer Jens Bischof said. He has the support of the company’s shareholders for a 737 MAX order, he said.
In 2014 SunExpress ordered 32 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft that have not yet been delivered.
THY took delivery of 12 737 MAX jets from an order of 75 planes before the aircraft was grounded in March.
The order came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Washington last week to meet with US President Donald Trump at the White House.
In July Erdoğan announced that Turkey’s national carrier, Turkish Airlines, would buy 100 Boeing planes after a meeting with Trump in Japan at the G20 summit.