MALAYSIA Airlines Berhad and Boeing last week announced a US$5.5 billion deal for 50 units of 737 Max aircraft – 25 firm orders and 25 purchase rights – with the first delivery commencing in 2019.
“This deal is a game-changer for Malaysia Airlines with much lower costs and greater efficiency, which we will pass on to our customers with lower fares,” said Peter Bellew, newly-appointed CEO of Malaysia Airlines.
Elaborating on the benefits, he said the 737 Max 9 has 180 seats, 18 more than Malaysia Airlines’ existing fleet; new slimline seats with more legroom; new Wi-Fi enabled internet; and new CFM Leap-1B engines which will reduce fuel consumption by up to 15 per cent and reduce operational noise emissions by 40 per cent.
The Malaysian national carrier has operated almost every derivative of the 737 airplane family and took delivery of its 100th 737 in December 2014. It currently operates 56 737-800s and will go on to take delivery of a mix of 737 Max 9 and 737 Max 8 aircraft.