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Airlines order 60 737 Max airliners from Boeing at Dubai show

By
Nicholas Sakelaris
The 737 Max, grounded since March, has not yet been cleared to return to the skies. File Photo by Andy Rain/EPA-EFE
The 737 Max, grounded since March, has not yet been cleared to return to the skies. File Photo by Andy Rain/EPA-EFE

Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Boeing said Tuesday it has received orders for 60 of its 737 Max aircraft, despite the fact they are still not yet allowed to fly worldwide.

Kazakhstan carrier Air Astana issued a letter of intent to buy 30 Max jets for its new low-cost airline FlyAstan, Boeing said. The $3.6 billion sale is contingent on the aircraft passing regulatory hurdles and returning to service.

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"Since its launch in May this year, FlyAstan has exceeded all expectations and it is clear that low cost air travel has a great future in Kazakhstan and Central Asia," Air Astana President and CEO Peter Foster said in a statement. "We believe that the Max will provide a solid platform for the growth of FlyAstan throughout our region once the aircraft has successfully returned to service."

Boeing said it has also received a $1.2 billion order for 10 Max airliners from Turkish leisure airline SunExpress, in addition 32 previously ordered. Boeing received another order for 20 from a mystery buyer.

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The 737 Max has been grounded since March as Boeing works on a fix to its automated flight system, which is responsible for two crashes overseas that killed nearly 350 passengers and crew. U.S. regulators still need to sign off on the repair.

The operators of Max jetliners in the United States -- United, Southwest and American -- have removed the plane from their flight schedules until at least March.

British Airways said in June it intends to buy 200 Max models, but the order hasn't been finalized. Rival Airbus secured $30 billion in orders at the Dubai Air Show, including 120 A320 neeo jets from Air Arabia and 50 A350 XWBs from Emirates on Monday.

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