Boeing Co. BA +1.07% is close to deals to sell its 737 Max jets to three Latin American customers, marking a major push into the region for the updated model.
Grupo Aeromexico SAB and Copa Holdings SA CPA +1.66% are nearing announcements of orders for an unspecified number of 737 Max aircraft, said people familiar with the deals. Aeromexico also is adding Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners to its fleet as part of its order, those people said.
Additionally, Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA GOL +1.85% is leaning toward ordering 737 Max jets from Boeing, despite an aggressive play by Airbus to win the Brazilian carrier away from Chicago-based Boeing, the people said.
Boeing has secured more than 1,200 orders and commitments from 18 customers for its 737 Max, which is scheduled to enter service in 2017. Copa Airlines, based in Panama City, Panama, is among those 18 customers, one of the knowledgeable people said. Orders from Aeromexico and Gol could raise the total to 20.
Since the beginning of July, Boeing has added 198 firm orders to its 737 Max backlog, increasing its total to 649 aircraft.
Copa Airlines, Aeromexico and Gol were not immediately reachable for comment.
Aeromexico said in a statement during the Farnborough International Air Show last week that it is “is currently assessing the potential acquisition of new technology narrow and wide body aircraft,” and that once an agreement had been reached with Boeing or Airbus, it would be disclosed.
Copa Airlines, Aeromexico and Gol are Boeing’s biggest customers in Latin America, which has seen significant airline consolidation in recent years.
Airbus has received orders for its A320neo, the competing model for the 737 Max, from AviancaTaca Holdings SA, which merged in 2010 and LATAM Airlines Group, LFL +0.40% the largest carrier in South America and the result of a merger between LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines.