British carrier Monarch Airlines has finalized an order for 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, in deal which Boeing values at more than $3.2 billion at current list prices.
The order, originally announced at the Farnborough International Airshow 2014 in July when Monarch selected Boeing as its preferred bidder for fleet replacement, includes options for 15 additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets and marks the beginning of the British carrier’s transition to an all-Boeing single-aisle fleet.
“The 737 MAX 8 fits our network strategy of serving our traditional European leisure routes in greater frequency, providing increased choice and service for Monarch customers, with significantly improved unit costs to our business,” says Andrew Swaffield, CEO of the Monarch Group.
The Boeing 737 MAX family has accumulated firm orders for 2,325 aircraft to date from 48 customers. It is the fastest selling aircraft in Boeing history, according to the manufacturer.
Headquartered at London Luton Airport, but also operating from five other U.K. bases – London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, East Midlands and Leeds-Bradford – Monarch Airlines predominantly serves holiday destinations around the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands, as well as European ski resorts.
Founded in 1968, the British carrier will move to a uniform fleet of 737 MAX 8s within the next decade.
On October 24, Monarch Airlines and other parts of UK independent leisure travel group Monarch Holdings Limited completed a restructuring program and 90 per cent of the group was sold to Greybull Capital LLP.
Under the new Greybull Capital ownership, Monarch Holdings has secured £125 million ($200 million) of permanent capital and liquidity facilities.