Posted on: 03 December 2018 by Mark Thomas
Boeing has delivered new 737 MAX 8s to Fiji Airways and Cayman Airways as both carriers continue to upgrade and modernise their fleets.
These are the first MAX 8 aircraft for each airline, with Fiji Airways saying it plans to use the longer-range version of the twin-jet to expand and modernise its single-aisle fleet. The aircraft for Cayman, meanwhile, was delivered by Air Lease Corp.
“We are thrilled to take delivery of our very first 737 MAX 8, named Island of Kadavu,” said Andre Viljoen, managing director and CEO of Fiji Airways, who described the introduction of the MAX as “the beginning of a new chapter for Fiji Airways.” The carrier will take delivery of five MAX 8s, to add to its existing fleet of B737NG aircraft.
The airline is based out of Nadi International Airport in Fiji, serving 31 destinations in 13 countries. It will also use Boeing Global Services to enhance its operations, it adds.
Existing ALC order book
For Cayman Airways, the MAX 8 was the first of four it will receive between now and 2020 via ALC’s existing order book with Boeing. The aircraft, powered by CFM International LEAP-1B27 engines, is on long-term lease to the airline, which becomes the first MAX 8 operator in the Caribbean.
“Over the next 20 months, we will be adding three additional MAX 8 aircraft while retiring our existing jet fleet. Following a competitive public tendering process, the unique lease structure and terms offered to Cayman Airways by ALC, has afforded Cayman Airways the ability to be the first 737 MAX 8 operator based in the Caribbean, and we look forward to a continued strong working relationship with ALC,” said Fabian Whorms, president and CEO at Cayman Airways. He added the MAX 8’s extra range “opens up the potential for several new markets within the Americas.”
“Several members of the ALC team have had a very long and valued relationship with Cayman Airways and these four new ALC 737 MAX 8s will progressively replace Cayman Airways’ current fleet of Boeing 737-300s and one Boeing 737-800. Incidentally, key members of the ALC team were also involved in initial placements of the aircraft that are now being replaced, having successfully participated in various competitive tendering processes at Cayman Airways between 2002 and 2016,” said Kishore Korde, executive vice-president at ALC.
ALC also recently delivered a new Airbus A321-200 on long-term lease to Frontier Airlines of the US. It was the first of two A321-200 aircraft confirmed to deliver to Frontier from ALC’s order book with Airbus. The latest A321-200 joins two A320-200s currently on long-term lease to Frontier from ALC. The second A321-200 aircraft from ALC is due for delivery to Frontier this month.