OSLO, May 11 (Reuters) - Nordic budget airline Primera Air has agreed to buy eight of Boeing's new 737 MAX aircraft for more than $950 million at list prices, and has an option to buy an additional four planes, the companies said on Thursday.
Primera said it wanted the new planes as it plans to start offering transatlantic flights, the latest low-cost European carrier to do so after Norwegian Air, Eurowings and British Airways' Level.
The order also includes the sale of another eight 737 MAX planes to Air Lease Corp, which will lease them in turn to Primera - bringing the total order to 20 planes. The companies did not disclose the value of the total order.
Boeing halted test flights of the 737 MAX airplanes on Wednesday due to an issue with the engine, which is made by CFM International, a joint venture between Safran and GE. Safran said on Thursday it aimed to fix the glitch within weeks.
Primera Air, which is Icelandic owned but based in Copenhagen, currently operates nine planes, all Boeing, serving European destinations. It is the latest carrier that intends to use single-aisle planes to operate transatlantic routes, which are typically flown by wide-body planes in order to keep costs down.
"This aircraft has a lower per-seat cost than the current wide-body aircraft servicing the transatlantic (routes)," Primera Air President Andri M. Ingolfsson said in a statement. (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Susan Fenton)