Boeing Co is close to a multibillion-dollar deal to sell dozens of its 737 MAX 7 jets to Southwest Airlines Co, in potentially the company’s largest 737 MAX order since the aircraft’s safety ban was lifted, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
If confirmed, the deal would head off a partial defection to Airbus SE by one of Boeing’s largest customers and provide Boeing much-needed support after the nearly two-year grounding of the 737 MAX family, following fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019.
The order would include dozens of firm orders and potentially significant options, the sources said. U.S. carrier Southwest said it does not comment on fleet decisions and has nothing to announce. Boeing declined comment.
The proposed deal follows speculation of a faceoff between the smallest member of Boeing’s MAX family and the A220 from Airbus.
Each 737 MAX 7 carries a list price of roughly $100 million, though such jets usually sell for less than half their official value with typical market discounts, according to aircraft industry sources.
The exact terms of any deal and the timing of a possible announcement were not clear.