Airlines-branded Boeing 737 MAX jets
Private equity firm 777 Partners on Tuesday agreed to buy 30 more Boeing (BA.N) 737 MAX jets as it expands its low-cost airline plans.
The Miami-based investment firm said it plans to buy both the main 737 MAX 8 model and the higher-density 737 MAX 8200 version.
It said it plans to buy up to 66 MAX jets in part for a new planned low-cost airline.
The deal, announced at the Farnborough Airshow, takes 777 Partners' purchase plans up to 134 MAX planes having announced an agreement for 30 in December.
The firm has used its 737 MAX purchases to launch two budget carriers - Canadian ultra low-cost carrier Flair Airlines and Bonza Airline, an Australian start-up set to begin operations this year.
"This new order marks another milestone in the robust growth of our aviation businesses and concurrently, our partnership with Boeing," said Josh Wander, managing partner of 777 Partners.
Wander told reporters the order would help it launch another low-cost air carrier that he plans to announce "in the near term."
He declined to say where it would be located but called it a "market ripe for low cost air travel."
"The 777 aviation platform, which now spans two continents and two airlines, will soon be three and in the future 4, 5 and 6," Wander said. "Using the MAX platform to enable our capacity to deliver ultra-low cost airlines to a global community."
777 said 93% of Bonza's planned routes are not currently served by any airline and 96% not currently served by a low-cost carrier. Flair serves over 30 cities across Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Boeing Commercial Airlines CEO Stan Deal said the MAX 8200 "really in the ultra-low cost carrier optimises unit cost.... so that they can pass on great value to the passenger."
Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Tim Hepher and Jason Neely
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