The Azerbaijani government-owned carrier Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) will defer deliveries of 10 Boeing 737 MAX 8 narrowbodies for five years. The airline initially expected to receive the first of the type at the end of this year.

However, deliveries will be postponed to 2024, an airline official told ATW. “The deposits that AZAL has already paid under this contract will be taken into account by Boeing in 2024,” he said.

The MAX 8 order, valued at $1.1 billion based on list prices, was placed in 2017 by Azerbaijan’s Silk Way Holding, which subsequently decided to hand them over to AZAL. No reason was given for the delivery deferral, but it could be likely connected with the type’s grounding in March after the fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

AZAL initially expected to receive its MAXs within three years from the end of 2019.

An AZAL official also said the airline was in talks with Boeing over deliveries of widebody aircraft but did not specify the type.

The Azerbaijani carrier has operated a pair of 787s since 2014. It signed a commitment for four more of the type in 2017.

The representative said AZAL will now use its existing fleet extensively. Besides the 787, it also includes four Airbus A319s, six A320s, two A340-500s, two Boeing 757-200s and a pair 767-300s. Its low-cost subsidiary Buta Airways flies with seven Embraer E190s.