Boeing is to supply parts for aircraft made by rival Airbus to British Airways (BA), the first agreement of its kind for the U.S. aircraft maker.
The deal with BA owner International Airlines Group (IAG) will see Boeing own, manage, and maintain a global exchange inventory of parts for the airline's Airbus A320 and A320neo single-aisle aircraft through its Component Services Program (CSP). BA has 67 A320-200s and 10 A320-200neos in its fleet.
“We’re very excited about this,” BA’s chief financial officer Steve Gunning told reporters at the Paris Air Show 2019. “To have all of BA’s A320 and A320neo family covered by this arrangement is a great way forward.”
He added: “We went through a very rigorous process. We know Boeing will bring a wealth of experience and it enables us to really focus on our core operation.”
Boeing Global Services chief executive Stan Deal said that the manufacturer was “happy to put our hat in the ring” to offer BA “more choice.”
In addition, the carrier has signed an agreement for three landing gear exchanges for its 777-300ERs. Through the program, operators receive an overhauled and certified landing gear from an exchange pool maintained by Boeing.
The latter deal comes four months after IAG agreed to buy as many as 42 of the 777X widebody aircraft to replace BA’s aging fleet of 747s. It has ordered 18 777-9s and took options for an additional 24.
“It is the last move in terms replacing the 747s, which have been a terrific aircraft for us, but we’re out of those by 2024,” said Gunning. “We’re excited because the 777 is a great replacement in terms of size, range and customer experience.”
IAG’s firm order puts the 777X at 364 orders and commitments from more than eight customers. Production of the 777X began in 2017, with first flight expected later this year and first delivery expected in 2020.
In a separate agreement, Boeing announced on Monday that it has signed a deal with United Airlines to provide digital analytics services to help the U.S. carrier better optimise its crew planning and resources.
“We applaud their commitment to continue to optimise their fleet and crew to lower costs,” said Mike Fleming, vice president commercial services at Boeing Global Services.