MIAMI – The first 737 MAX for American Airlines has begun final assembly at Boeing’s Renton, Washington factory. The aircraft, LN6515, will be the first of four 737 MAXs American expects to take delivery of in 2017.
After completing final assembly and flight tests, American expects to take delivery of the first aircraft sometime in the fall. American Airlines has confirmed with Airways that the 737 MAX will not enter revenue service until early 2018. After the first four deliveries in 2017, American will take delivery of 20 737 MAXs per year until their 100 aircraft order is complete.
On July 20th, 2011, American Airlines announced a major order for 260 Airbus and 200 Boeing jets. The 460 aircraft order is the largest commercial aircraft order in history by number of planes. LN6515 will be the first 737 MAX of the 100 737 MAXs American ordered that day.
American Airlines also has 100 Airbus A321neo aircraft on order. While originally planning to take delivery of their first A321neo in 2017, American chose to defer the first 35 aircraft from that order until 2019.
The 737 MAX will join a fleet of 294 737s as of June 30th at American Airlines. In the coming months, American will take delivery of their last 737 NextGens as the carrier begins its transition the MAX.
While American will be one of the first 737 MAX operators, Southwest Airlines will beat them to become the North American launch customer. Southwest expects to take delivery of their first 737 MAX in the coming weeks with an EIS of October 1st.
Currently, there are 14 Southwest 737 MAXs in various stages of final assembly, rework, storage, or flight testing.
Last week, Airways flew on the delivery flight for the first Norwegian Air 737 MAX. Utilizing the MAXs extended range, Norwegian plans to use the MAX to revolutionize transatlantic travel using narrowbody airplanes.