Monarch targets larger narrowbodies through 62-aircraft order

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UK leisure carrier Monarch Airlines says two-thirds of its upcoming narrowbody aircraft order will be for larger variants, while one-third will comprise smaller versions.

The Luton-based carrier still favours the Boeing 737 Max 9 over the smaller Max 8, according to its executive chairman, Iain Rawlinson. The carrier has a similar preference for the A321neo over the baseline A320neo, he adds.

“We are within weeks of finishing the three-way race,” he said in an address to the UK Aviation Club in London.

He tells Flightglobal that a decision is likely after 13 November, the date of the group’s annual general meeting.

Monarch sent a request for proposals to Airbus and Boeing in November last year and is considering aircraft utilising new engine technology as well as current-generation products.

The carrier increased the size and scope of its request for proposals earlier this year, and invited Bombardier as part of the process. It originally planned to acquire 45 aircraft between 2016 and 2021, but this has since increased to 62 units, with deliveries scheduled until 2024.

The group operates 39 widebody and narrowbody aircraft, according to Flightlgobal's Ascend Online database.