South Korea’s Eastar receives first MAX

Boeing has delivered the first B737 MAX 8 to low-fare carrier Eastar Jet, making it the first South Korean airline to operate the single-aisle aircraft.

“We are excited to take delivery of this brand new 737 MAX airplane,” said Jong-Gu Choi, Eastar’s president. “The introduction of the 737 MAX into our fleet reflects the efforts we are making to modernise our product offering and provide a world-class experience to our customers. In addition, the superior economics and longer-range capability of the 737 MAX will enable us to expand our network into new and existing markets more efficiently, which will help us achieve long-term growth.”

The carrier, based at Gimpo/Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea, will receive another CFM LEAP-1B-powered MAX 8 before the end of this month. In Eastar’s configuration, says Boeing, the MAX 8 will be able to fly more than 3,100 nautical miles (5,740 km) – 500 nautical miles – while providing 14% better fuel efficiency. The airline has been operating a fleet of B737 Next-Generation aircraft since it began operations 11 years ago.

Eastar will also use Boeing Global Services to enhance its operations, including services such as Maintenance Performance Toolbox, which delivers real-time access to information technicians to quickly resolve any maintenance issues.

South Korea’s low-cost carrier market has grown significantly and become the largest LCC market in Northeast Asia, says Boeing. Over the past five years it has grown more than 30% per year.

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