Saudi budget airline picks Airbus, dealing $5.9 billion blow to Boeing

Saudi Arabia’s low-cost airline Flyadeal announced that it has canceled its provisional order for 30 Boeing 737 Max aircraft.

Flyadeal began reconsidering its commitment to Boeing after the crashes of two 737 Max jets, the first in Indonesia in October followed by one in Ethiopia in March, which killed 346 people.

Since then the aircraft has been grounded and Boeing has been working on a fix that will satisfy regulators.

Boeing said that flyadeal had decided not go ahead with the provisional order because of “schedule requirements”.

The deal, which included an additional option to purchase 20 more 737 Max aircraft, was worth $5.9 billion at list prices, but the airline would have been offered a discount on that price tag.

Instead flyadeal, which is controlled by state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines, will operate a fleet of Airbus A320 planes.

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