An artist’s conception of the new Boeing 777X. (Boeing Co.)

An artist’s conception of the new Boeing 777X. (Boeing Co.)

British Airways places a big order for the Boeing 777X

It will buy 18 of the new planes, with options for 24 more. Boeing now has 358 orders and commitments.

Associated Press and Herald staff

MADRID — The parent company of British Airways is buying up to 42 Boeing 777X long-haul passenger jets in a multi-billion dollar deal.

Thursday’s announcement by the International Airlines Group consortium comes days after Boeing’s European rival, Airbus, announced it would stop making its A380 superjumbo from 2021 due to a lack of customers.

The 777-9s British Airways is buying will replace larger widebody airplanes, mainly the four-engine 747 jumbo jet, Boeing said in a news release.

IAG, which owns British Airways and Iberia, says it has confirmed the order of 18 planes for British Airways and placed an optional order for 24 additional jets that will replace some other Boeing jets in British Airways’ existing fleet. The first 18 will be delivered between 2022 and 2025.

The company did not disclose the exact cost of the purchase but noted in the statement that it had negotiated a “substantial discount” over the $18.5 billion dollar list price.

Boeing said it has 358 orders and commitments from eight customers for the 777X, which will be built in Everett and is a modernized version of its successful predecessor, the classic 777. Production of the 777X began in 2017, with first flight planned for this year and first delivery expected in 2020, the company said.

The other carriers that have placed 777X orders are All Nippon, Cathay Pacific, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.

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