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American Airlines’ lease deal for 18 737 MAX nears completion

written by Hannah Dowling | March 24, 2021
A file image of American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 N314RH. (Nathan Coats/Commons Wikimedia)
An American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 (Nathan Coats/Commons Wikimedia)

A deal struck between aircraft leasing company Dubai Aerospace Enterprise and US carrier American Airlines over the sale-and-leaseback of 18 737 MAX jets is nearing completion.

According to the Dubai-based lessor, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has “substantially completed” its deal to deliver the 737 MAX 8 jets to American.

The deal was signed in Q3 2020, with DAE delivering the first 10 MAX jets to American in December 2020, just weeks after the US Federal Aviation Administration lifted its grounding order on the troubled plane.

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According to data from Planespotters, DAE then delivered an additional five MAX 8 planes to American in January 2021, then one jet per month in February and March 2021, leaving just one MAX plane left to be delivered under the deal.

“This transaction reflects our agility, our balance-sheet strength, our underwriting capability, our ability to assist one of our long-term customers and our belief in the product strength of the 737 MAX 8 aircraft,” said DAE CEO Firoz Tarapore.

Meanwhile, Boeing senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing Ihssane Mounir said, “DAE is putting their purchasing strategy and growth plan in action and helping operators during this challenging time in our industry.

“We are delighted to once again partner with DAE to support a valued customer such as American Airlines and we are honoured by their trust and confidence in the Boeing 737 family.”

The 737 MAX was grounded by aviation authorities around the globe in March 2019, following the second of two fatal crashes in the aircraft that ultimately killed 346 people.

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Since the FAA lifted its ban in November 2020, many other authorities have followed suit, in light of the extensive recertification safety process that the aircraft underwent in its near two-year long grounding.

DAE now has 20 Boeing 737 MAX jets on lease and delivered to operators.

“We are delighted to see an increasing number of global aviation regulators return the MAX to the skies. We wish American and Boeing great success,” Tarapore said.

The lessor indicated having a total of 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft with operators.

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