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Boeing gets 737 Max vote of confidence

Grounded Boeing 737 Max planes Image copyright Reuters
Image caption All Boeing 737 Max planes are currently grounded

Boeing has received a small vote of confidence in its troubled 737 Max after another airline said it was interested in buying the aircraft.

Air Astana, the Kazakhstan flag carrier, announced at the Dubai Air Show it wanted 30 737s for its recently launched budget airline FlyArystan.

But Air Astana has signed a "letter of intent" rather than a firm order.

The 737 Max is grounded after two crashes while regulators assess changes to the plane before clearing it to fly.

There is speculation that Boeing and other airlines may also be planning further 737 announcements at the air show on Wednesday. On Monday, Turkey's SunExpress said it intended to exercise an option to buy 10 737s.

In June, British Airways parent IAG said at the Paris Air Show that it would buy the Max aircraft. But the order has not been firmed up.

Earlier this year, Boeing halted 737 Max deliveries as new orders for its fast-selling aircraft dried up. The US manufacturer is scrambling to get approval for software fixes to its flight-control system, identified as a key factor in two crashes that killed a total of 346 people.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption All 189 people on board a Lion Air flight lost their lives when it crashed in October 2018

Stan Deal, who took over last month as head of Boeing's commercial aircraft after the previous chief was ousted, told a press conference on Saturday that there was still no date for the resumption of 737 Max flights.

He said it was in the hands of aviation regulators, but added: "We continue to make progress."

The 737 Max crisis has cost Boeing tens of billions of dollars, and Mr Deal said he would be talking to airline executives at the show about the impact on their operations. Affected airlines are demanding compensation.

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