IAG says it hopes to bring forward first MAX delivery to 2022

FILE PHOTO: British Airways aircraft are seen at Heathrow Airport in west London, Britain, February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - British Airways owner IAG ICAG.L is in talks with Boeing BA.N to bring forward the first delivery of 200 737 MAX jets by a year to 2022, and said it was confident that the issues that led to its grounding would be addressed.

IAG stunned industry executives at the Paris Airshow in June by signing a letter of intent to buy 200 737 MAX jets, with a plan for deliveries between 2023 and 2027.

“We are having very constructive discussions with Boeing. We are looking at bringing forward the delivery to 2022, which we think will be possible,” Chief Executive Willie Walsh told journalists in a conference call.

The timetable for regulatory approval for flights has slipped in recent months, with Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg last week saying he was confident the MAX would be back in service as early as October.

“We remain confident that the issues will be addressed by the safety regulators,” Walsh said.

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Jan Harvey