Airbus Vows to Challenge the Secret Boeing 737 Deal that Stunned the Paris Air Show
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Airbus SE vowed to put up a fight to undo a $24 billion deal landed by rival Boeing Co. for 737 Max planes that proved to be the sales coup of this year's Paris Air Show.
Speaking at a final press conference from Le Bourget airfield outside the French capital on Thursday, Airbus sales chief Christian Scherer said the European planemaker never received a request for proposals—a document that formally launches bidding for most major aircraft contracts—from IAG SA, the owner of British Airways.
The secret negotiations between Boeing and IAG led to the biggest surprise of the week-long show: a letter of intent from the carrier to purchase 200 of the Max aircraft, a model that is grounded following two fatal crashes. IAG is currently an Airbus-only narrow-body customer and has said it plans to use the planes for its discount and leisure divisions, including Vueling and Level.