A new report says Boeing and Japan’s All Nippon Airways are close to inking a $3.5 billion deal for 30 737 MAX aircraft, according to Reuters, who quoted anonymous sources on the matter.
The deal would mean the first-ever of the MAX generation planes for a Japanese carrier.
Sources told Reuters that a formal announcement of the deal could come as early as Tuesday. It wasn’t clear what variant of 737 MAX the airline would be ordering.
ANA’s current fleet is a mix of Boeing and Airbus jets, among which the airline operates 40 Boeing 737-800s and 7 Boeing 737-700s, but none of the MAX aircraft, which are the latest iteration of the 737.
The MAX is an updated version of its workhorse 737 twin-engine plane that has been in operation for decades. The 737 has sold more than any other jetliner in its 50-year career, but the MAX models have very little in common with the original 737s. MAX planes are more fuel-efficient than older 737s, largely thanks to new engines, and began carrying passengers in 2017. The model comes in four different variants: -7, -8, -9 and -10, from smallest to largest.
The plane mostly handles short-haul flights, but it has a maximum range of about 3,825 nautical miles — enough for trans-Atlantic flights from the East Coast of the US and Canada to Western Europe.
ANA’s current fleet also has several of Boeing’s rival Airbus’ A321neos and A320neos — essentially Airbus’ similar fuel efficient plane model. Boeing had no comment on the potential deal with ANA.
As Reuters points out, the likely deal comes as the US and Japan are negotiating a new trade pact, with US President Donald Trump having criticized Japan in the past for shipping goods like cars to the US but blocking similar imports into the nation.
The MAX variants of the 737 are Boeing’s fastest-selling generation of airplanes ever. The company has inked more than 4,700 orders for the variant of the single-aisle jet for more than 100 carriers worldwide.