Boeing in talks with Alaska Airlines for potential 737 MAX order.

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Boeing is in discussions to sell 737 MAX jets to Alaska Airlines once the plane returns to service, three people familiar with the matter said, Reuters reported.

See also: Ryanair says its priority is the Boeing 737 MAX.

The talks are part of a series of negotiations between Boeing and several airlines over jet orders or compensation after the 737 MAX was banned worldwide following two fatal crashes.

See also: Boeing would be in talks with Delta for the purchase of 40 737 MAX aircraft.

Any deal would be subject to U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval of proposed 737 MAX safety upgrades.

Alaska Airlines already had ordered 37 of the jets before the grounding. If confirmed, a new order from such a major carrier would give Boeing’s 737 MAX a sorely needed commercial boost as the U.S. planemaker tries to move beyond a crisis that has hammered its finances.

It would also mark a post-crisis test of the balance of power between Boeing and Airbus. The European planemaker is battling to keep a foothold in Alaska Airlines, which had operated an all-Boeing fleet until it acquired Virgin America in 2016.

It was not immediately clear how many jets it may buy.

Alaska Airlines currently flies 166 Boeing 737s and 71 Airbus A320s.

By Eric M. Johnson, Tracy Rucinski

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