MIAMI – Boeing today marked the first delivery of the new 737 MAX. The airplane, a 737 MAX 8, was handed over to Malindo Air at the Seattle Delivery Center. The Malaysia-based airline will be the first to put the 737 MAX into commercial service.
“This airplane will change the face of the single-aisle market,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Kevin McAllister. “The 737 MAX 8 is the best in its class, providing unmatched performance and economics for our airline customers.”
Last March, it was announced that the Lion’s Air subsidiary will be the launching operator of the aircraft expected to enter into service on May 19, from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore as OD803; to debut on the Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok Don Muang route later in the day. But Boeing halted the flights of its 737 MAX fleet, citing issues related with CFM’s International LEAP-1B powerplant.
The manufacturer managed to resume some flight testing of the 737 MAX three days after grounding the fleet, and finally accomplished the schedule with one day of delay. This delivery casually occurs 50 years after the first Boeing 737 entered service in 1967.
“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.”
Southwest Airlines was originally planned to be the launch customer of the 737 MAX, but the Dallas-based carrier, although it was first to receive the MAX, will not debut the type until October 1, when it introduces the new type on its original “Triangle Route” —Houston Hobby, San Antonio and Dallas Love Field.
Also, Norwegian Air was considered as the launch operator of the 737 MAX receiving their first aircraft this May, but Malindo step forward.
Every aircraft of the 737 MAX family will feature the new Boeing Sky Interior, LED lighting that and larger pivoting overhead stowage bins. To date, it has received almost 3,700 orders from 87 customers across the world.