14 July 2014 at 12.37 GMT
Monarch Group today confirmed plans for 30 new Boeing short-haul aircraft worth $3.1 billion plus options on a further 15.
The company said it was in the process of finalising terms and working towards signing a purchase agreement with the US manufacturer for the purchase of 30 next-generation Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, with options on 15 more.
The group’s Monarch Airlines arm currently operates a fleet of mainly Airbus aircraft.
Group executive chairman Iain Rawlinson said: “Today’s announcement is an important milestone in an exhaustive three-year evaluation process, and a key part of The Monarch Group’s transformation and renewal.
“Boeing truly understood our business and put together a complete package that fits extremely well with our ambitions for the group.
“With this announcement, we begin another chapter in our long and fruitful relationship with Boeing – something which now stretches over 40 years.”
Monarch Airlines managing director Andrew Swaffield added: “I joined Monarch Airlines because I saw that it has a unique brand, and exceptional people. We see an opportunity to bring back warmth and a personal touch to a very commoditised European aviation market. Our size enables us to deliver on this promise.
“With this fleet replacement we are choosing the correct number of aircraft and the correct size of aircraft to help us create a year-round efficient European operation which maximises profitability.
“Our process has been rigorous and fair and I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead it to a successful conclusion.
“Having reviewed all of the options in the marketplace, we concluded that the Boeing 737 MAX 8 is the aircraft that best fits our future route network strategy, enabling us to tightly control our unit costs whilst offering a superior service to our customers.”
Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Ray Conner said: “We are delighted that Monarch intends to structure its future fleet around the 737 MAX. We look forward to finalising the order and can’t wait to see the Monarch livery on 737s once again.
“Today is a proud moment for everyone at the Boeing company, as we welcome back a prestigious UK operator, and we are confident that the 737 MAX will play a significant role in Monarch’s continued success.”
Sourced from Travel Weekly