LONDON – The 737 MAX 8 has gained some momentum this week with a commitment of 12 aircraft for Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines, as well as 50 planes for Korean carrier Jeju Air. Deliveries, according to Boeing, will occur “in the coming years.”
In an unclear public statement, Boeing did not specify whether this was a letter of intent, a memorandum, or a firm order for 12 Boeing 737 MAX 8s. However, should the deal be firm orders, it would be worth around $1.4 billion at current list prices.
Boeing has sold over 4,800 737 MAX aircraft to more than 100 customers globally and has delivered over 200 since May 2017.
The plane’s selection was announced at a ceremony featuring the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Keith Rowley, as well as the airline’s CEO, Garvin Medera.
Medera emphasized the airline’s strong relationship with Boeing to the point that they have “been by our side since Caribbean Airlines was founded twelve years ago using the 737-800NG,” of which the airline operates a fleet of 12.
He then continued to say that the MAX 8 will offer “a safe and comfortable experience for our passengers, while significantly improving fuel efficiency and environmental performances.”
The 737 MAX 8 will offer Caribbean Airlines up to 16% in fuel savings, offering lower costs than the current 737-800NGs in its fleet.
These -800s will have direct replacements due to the number ordered. The -800s have an average lifespan of 15.4 years currently, so fleet renewal for the carrier is probably a high priority.
The MAX 8s will be configured to carry up to 160 passengers in a three-class configuration, including the “Caribbean Plus” cabin.
The planes will be powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1B engines.
Ihssane Mounir, Senior VP of Commercial Sales & Marketing at Boeing carried on with the relationship front, saying that the “selection reaffirms the partnership we have built together with the Next-Generation 737 Family.”