First Boeing 737 MAX delivered to Southeast Asia carrier
Boeing 737 Max 8, a single-aisle jet makes first delivery to Malindo Air, part of Indonesia’s Lion Air. Malindo Air received its first of eight 737 MAX jets from Boeing’s Seattle Delivery Center at Boeing Field. The aircraft was delivered in Batik Air’s livery as Malindo soon plans to rebrand Batik Air in the second half of the year.
“We are thrilled to partner with Boeing to take the delivery of the world’s first Boeing 737 MAX,” said Chandran Rama Muthy, CEO of Malindo Air. “The Boeing 737NG fleet has served Malindo well in its growth and we believe that the 737 MAX will become the centerpiece of our fleet. These new aircraft will allow us to go to further destinations and will play a key role in providing lower air fares to our customers.”
“This airplane will change the face of the single-aisle market,” Kevin McAllister, the president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement. “The 737 MAX 8 is the best in its class, providing unmatched performance and economics for our airline customers.” The MAX flies farther and is 14 percent more fuel efficient that the current 737.
Technically speaking, the jet was purchased by Avolon, an Irish-based subsidiary of China’s HNA Group, and leased to Malindo Air, which is part of Indonesia’s Lion Air Group. Lion Air has ordered 201 of the 737 MAXs in all.
The MAX line is expected to be 14 percent more fuel-efficient than the previous generation of single-aisle 737s, thanks to its CFM LEAP-1B engines and tweaks to the plane’s aerodynamic design. In addition to the MAX 8, Boeing is working on variants known as the MAX 7, MAX 9, MAX 10X and MAX 200.
The first 737 MAX delivery occurred 15 months after the first A320neo was delivered to German carrier Lufthansa. The newest Boeing aircraft is the fastest-selling aircraft in the company’s history.
Lion Air Group controls low-cost carrier Lion Air, regional carrier Wings Air, business-jet operator Lion BizJet, and full-service carrier Batik Air, all of Indonesia, and also holds minority stakes in Malaysia’s Malindo Air, and Thailand’s Thai Lion Air.
(seasia | from various sources)