DAE delivers first 18 Boeing 737 Max jets to American Airlines

Delivery is part of a purchase and leaseback agreement signed with the airline in the third quarter of 2020

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES  27 August 2018- Interview with Firaz Tirapore, CEO of  Dubai government backed Dubai Aerospace Enterprise at his office in DIFC, Dubai. Leslie Pableo for The National for Sarah Townsend story

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), the Middle East's biggest plane lessor, said it delivered the first of 18 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft to American Airlines as part of a purchase and leaseback agreement signed in the third quarter of 2020.

Delivery of the remaining aircraft is expected to be completed in the coming months, the company said in a statement on Monday.

“We are delighted to be in a position to offer a meaningful solution to American Airlines, a long-term customer of DAE, and to see the Boeing 737 Max return to service," Firoz Tarapore, chief executive of DAE, said. "We are also pleased to further invest in these technologically advanced and fuel-efficient aircraft types in line with our commitment to environmental sustainability."

DAE's owned and committed fleet includes 22 Boeing 737 Max 8 planes.

"DAE’s ability to facilitate an agreement of this size in today’s environment is a testament to their reputation and their confidence in American Airlines, and we look forward to a successful, ongoing partnership," Meghan Montana, American Airline’s vice president and treasurer, said.

Earlier, American Airlines said it will re-launch its Max service on the Miami-New York route by the end of 2020.

Last week, Brazil's Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes, the country's biggest domestic airline, said it will be the first to resume commercial flights using Boeing's 737 Max after regulators lifted a 20-month ban on the embattled aircraft.

Boeing's best-selling jet was grounded in March 2019 after two crashes within five months of each other killed 346 people.

The Chicago-based planemaker redesigned the flight-control software following the incidents. The aircraft was cleared to fly by US Federal Aviation Administration in November this year after rigorous tests.