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Air Astana says signs letter of intent for 30 Boeing 737 MAX

DUBAI (Reuters) - Kazakhstan flag carrier Air Astana said on Tuesday it had signed a letter of intent to order 30 Boeing 737 MAX for its recently launched low-cost carrier subsidiary Fly Arystana.

The carrier, which operates Airbus and Embraer jets in its main network, said it was confident in Boeing’s ability to resolve problems over the grounding of the MAX in the wake of two accidents.

“We are making flying affordable for the people of Kazakhstan,” Chief Planning Officer Alma Aliguzhinova told reporters at the Dubai Airshow, adding the budget subsidiary would start taking the jets in late 2021.

The airline plans to hold 15 aircraft directly and may finance the rest through a lease transaction, she said, adding Air Astana would not change the composition of its main fleet.

Separately, another airline signed a firm order for 10 Boeing 737 MAX 7 and 10 Boeing MAX 10, a person familiar with the matter said. The airline’s name was not disclosed.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera, Editing by Tim Hepher