LONDON – More Boeing news today with South African carrier Comair Limited receiving its first Boeing 737MAX8 aircraft.
This is the first of eight that the company has on order, with this delivery making the carrier the first in sub-Saharan Africa to receive the aircraft type.
This is part of the group’s fleet renewal strategy which will see operate under the Kulula airline but under the British Airways livery due to licensing agreements.
Commenting on the delivery was Wrenelle Stander, the Executive Director of Comair’s Airline Division.
“The arrival of the MAX 8 aircraft is a continuation of our fleet renewal programme and builds on the most modern and efficient fleet in South Africa”.
“It is the first of these aircraft to operate in Southern Africa. These newer aircraft, which showcase state-of-the-art technology, will improve our customer experience, enable us to hedge against fuel price volatility and enhance our operating efficiency.”
This delivery is significant, especially as it highlights the sheer demand that there is for aircraft on the African continent.
The domiciled fleet in this continent has doubled over the last 20 years, meaning Africa is going to require 1,200 new aircraft according to the manufacturer’s Commercial Market Outlook, with Boeing representing nearly 70% of the continent’s fleet that is in-service.
Ihssane Mounir, the Senior VP of Commercial Sales & Marketing welcomed the airline to the MAX family.
“We are delighted to welcome Comair to our growing MAX family. The airline will be able to significantly lower its operating costs, fly farther and provide their customers with a better flying experience”.
“From the Classic 737 to the Next-Generation 737 and now to the 737 MAX, we are honored to build on our partnership with Comair and support their success in the years ahead.”
Comair currently run a fleet of 18 737-800 Next Generation Aircraft and seven 737 Classic aircraft.
Therefore, fleet renewal will be clear cut as the 737MAX8 will offer 14% better fuel efficiency and emissions compared to the other aircraft in its fleet.
It can also fly 600 miles further than its predecessor, meaning it opens up new route opportunities too.
The aircraft will be configured in a single cabin configuration, offering 189 seats with the Boeing Sky Interior, offering a fresh new product to African fliers.