FARNBOROUGH -- Monarch Airlines, a current A320 operator, has selected the Boeing 737 MAX over the competing Airbus A320neo for its future fleet re-equipment plan.

The deal marks a significant turnover for Boeing in Europe where Airbus has so far dominated with the A320 and follow-on re-engined A320neo. The Monarch deal covers 30 737-8s and includes additional convertible options with first deliveries starting in 2018.

The 737 was selected "after a very fair process," says Monarch executive chairman Iain Rawlinson. "It was clear throughout that process that we'd made the right choice for Monarch from an economic, price and product perspective. On this basis the CFM-powered 737 comes out on top."

Monarch, which also reviewed the Bombardier CSeries CS300 as well as the A320neo for its fleet renewal plan, says the low operating costs of the MAX were key to its decision. “Looking at an aircraft that could be efficient all-year round was very important,” says Rawlinson referring to the cyclical basis of the leisure airline’s operating costs.