LONDON — Air Europa was revealed as a previously unidentified customer for 20 737 MAX 8 aircraft Wednesday at the Farnborough Airshow, continuing the carrier’s transition to become an all-Boeing operator.

No timeline has yet been set for deliveries. Air Europa, a full-service leisure airline headquartered on the island of Mallorca, operates a fleet of 61 narrow body and wide body aircraft, and will use the 737 MAX aircraft to replace its older fleet of Boeing 737-800 Next Generation (NG) planes.

Air Europa’s fleet currently includes 21 737-800s (with 4 on order), as well as 7 ATR 72s (2 -200s, 5 – 500s), 1 Embraer ERJ-145s, and 11 Embraer ERJ-195s (4 on order) for regional flights. On the wide body side, Air Europa operates 12 Airbus A330-200s, 5 A330-300s (though 2 are leased to Icelandic low cost carrier [LCC] WOW Air), and 2 Boeing 787-8s. It also has 6 787-8s on order and 14 787-9s (announced last year at the Paris Airshow).

Air Europa says that the planes will be used to expand short haul flights from hubs such as Madrid and Palma. “The 737 MAX will complement Air Europa’s growing fleet and is the perfect aircraft for our short-haul operations across Europe to feed our long-haul network from hubs in Madrid and Palma,” said Juan José Hidalgo, president, Globalia, the parent company of Air Europa.

“This aircraft will play a major role in growing our business in the years to come and we look forward to becoming an all-Boeing carrier following recent orders for the 787 Dreamliner and 737 MAX.” Hidalgo said.

Egyptair Orders 9 737-800s

Meanwhile, Egyptian flag carrier Egyptair announced a firm order for 9 Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircraft, adding to an existing fleet of 20 737-800s. Eight of the deliveries will be financed by Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) with deliveries spread over the next 3 years.

Egyptair Boeing 737-800 artwork. (Credits: Boeing)
Egyptair Boeing 737-800 artwork. (Credits: Boeing)

“We are delighted to welcome Egyptair as one of DAE’s new clients in the Middle East / North Africa region,” said Mr. Khalifa AlDaboos, Managing Director of DAE. “We look forward to a mutually rewarding long-term relationship with Egyptair and to supporting its fleet ambitions.”

“Over the years, Boeing has played an important role in our growth plan,” said Safwat Musallam, Chairman and CEO, Egyptair Holding Company. “The Next-Generation 737-800s have earned an excellent reputation for reliability, performance and cost efficiency and has added tremendous value to our operations. The addition of several more of this airplane will definitely enable us to continue with our plans to introduce modern, efficient aircraft on our short to medium haul destination network. We are pleased to be working with Dubai Aerospace Enterprise to finance eight of these airplanes.”

Egyptair currently operates a mixed fleet of 11 Airbus A320ceo family aircraft (11 A320ceos, 4 A321ceos) and 24 Boeing 737s (20 737-800s, and 4 737-500 Classics). On the wide body side, it operates 11 Airbus A330s (7 A330-200s and 4 A330-300s) and 10 Boeing 777s (4 777-200ERs, 6 777-300ERs) though two of its 777-200ERs are leased out to Biman Bangladesh Airlines.

The Cairo-based full-service carrier and Star Alliance member has not yet placed a decision for a next-generation narrow body aircraft, though we expect it to opt to standardize its fleet on the 737 MAX eventually.

In addition to a primary transfer hub complex at Cairo, Egyptair also operates smaller focus cities in tourist-oriented airports like Hurghada, Luxor, Sharm el-Sheikh, and Alexandria. Since the Arab Spring Revolutions of 2011, EgyptAir has suffered heavy losses from a downturn in business travel, and has suffered in the wake of reduced tourism travel due to security concerns over potential terrorism acts.