MIAMI – Recent days have not been kind to the Boeing 737 Max program, with the grounding of the airframer’s flight test fleet due to technical issues with the CFM Leap engines. Today bought better news as Boeing and Primera Air announced today an order for eight 737 MAX 9 aircraft, valued at more than $950 million at list prices. This makes the low-cost carrier a potential competitor for Norwegian Air since it was recently announced by the airline they would be the long-haul launch operator for the aircraft in a trans-Atlantic service on June 15.

The Boeing-Primera Air agreement also includes purchase rights for four additional 737 MAX 9s and a lease agreement for eight more airplanes from Air Lease Corporation.

“The 737 MAX 9 will allow Primera Air to open up nonstop, long-haul routes from Europe to the U.S. with unmatched economics,” said Andri M. Ingolfsson, President, Primera Air. “This aircraft has a lower per-seat cost than the current wide-body aircraft servicing the transatlantic and the capabilities of this aircraft type will change the economics of the industry.”

As said by Ingolfsson, the 737 MAX 9 will be an important feature for Primera Air. The future plans of the carrier are based on starting flights between Europe and North America, specifically to the East Coast, and using the MAX 9’s auxiliary fuel tanks to lower trip costs.

Monty Oliver, vice president, European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: “the MAX 9 will provide Primera Air unmatched efficiency, range, reliability and operating costs while continuing to provide a premium onboard experience for its passengers.”

Primera Air is an all-Boeing carrier currently operating a fleet of nine Next-Generation 737-700s and 737-800s with flights to more than 70 airports in Europe. Primera Air is part of the Primera Travel Group that operates travel agencies and tour operating companies in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Estonia.

The 737 MAX  has more than 3,700 orders from 87 customers worldwide.