Boeing got its first MAX-order since a long time when Turkish/German holiday specialist SunExpress converted ten options for the MAX 8 into firm orders on November 18. The deal is seen as a vote of confidence in the MAX, Boeing’s President and CEO Commercial Aircraft Stan Deal said.
SunExpress originally ordered 32 MAX 8s in 2014 as the joint-venture airline from Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa wished to renew its 60-strong 737-800 fleet. After the grounding of the MAX it has been short on capacity. CEO Jens Bischof hopes to get his aircraft again next year once the MAX has been recertified by the international regulators. His fleet plan includes 7 MAX 8s for the Antalya-based subsidiary and 3 for the one operating out of Frankfurt.
While many airlines have opted for bigger aircraft, Bischof wants to concentrate on the MAX 8: “This is for fleet commonality, as a single type facilitates our operations.” He admits that SunExpress and other MAX-operators will have to convince the public that the MAX is safe: “We have to demonstrate that this is a safe aircraft to fly in, but it will take time. It is a great airplane, I am fully convinced it will meet our requirements.”
(Update: it has been commented that this story doesn’t include the order from IAG for 200 MAX 8s and 10s announced in Paris. That’s correct, but we would like to remind you that in contrast to the SunExpress announcement IAG’s is still not final.)