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Japan is to see a second operator of the Boeing MAX. After All Nippon Airways, it is now Skymark Airlines that plans to introduce up to twelve MAX 8s and -10s to the fleet. Boeing wins new Japanese MAX customer with Skymark.

The airline has four aircraft on direct order from Boeing plus two options, but intends to source another six MAX 8s from lessors.  

SkyMark is Japan’s third largest airline after Japan Airlines and ANA and was founded exactly 26 years ago this Saturday, November 12, 1996. The airline is a Boeing-only operator, with a fleet of 29 737-800s that are all leased but two from lessors like SMBC Aviation, ALC, ACG, Avolon, or Aircastle. The 737s are on average some eleven years old.

The MAX will be used by Skymark to “sustainably grow its fleet”, says Ihssane Mounir, Boeing’s senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing in a media statement. He adds: “With commonality and enhanced capabilities, the 737-8 and 737-10 will enable Skymark Airlines to optimize its fleet across all operations.” This is an interesting remark, given the uncertainty that the MAX 10 will get an exemption from the US Congress to be certified after December 31 without the need for a new crew alerting system in the cockpit.

Skymark, which never discloses financial details, also used to operate seven Boeing 767s and five Airbus A330s. In November 2010, it even ordered four Airbus A380s, followed by another two in July 2011. Two aircraft had already been in an advanced state of completion and one had even flown, when Airbus terminated the contract in July 2014 over uncertainties about the airline’s ability to secure the financing.

In July, All Nippon Airways confirmed its order for twenty MAX 8s plus ten options which were originally announced in July 2019.

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Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News and until July 1 2023 in a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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