Boeing [NYSE: BA] today delivered the first 737 MAX for Eastar Jet, making it the first airline in Korea to operate the more fuel-efficient and longer-range version of the popular 737 jet.
“We are excited to take delivery of this brand new 737 MAX airplane,” said Jong-Gu Choi, President of Eastar Jet. “The introduction of the 737 MAX into our fleet reflects the efforts we are making to modernize 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.”
Eastar Jet will take delivery of another 737 MAX 8 airplane later this month, which will join the airline’s existing fleet of Next-Generation 737s.
The MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, and other airframe enhancements to improve performance and reduce operating costs. In Eastar Jet configuration, the MAX 8 will be able to fly more that 3,100 nautical miles (5,740 kilometers) – 500 nautical miles farther than the previous 737 models – while providing 14 percent better fuel efficiency.
“Eastar Jet has achieved impressive growth flying the Boeing 737. With the new 737 MAX, the airline will be able to take their performance to the next level. They can fly farther, lower their operating costs, and provide an even better experience for their passengers,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales & Marketing for The Boeing Company. “We are proud of our partnership with Eastar Jet and we are excited to see them leverage the MAX to compete in one of the world’s most dynamic aviation markets.”
In addition to modernizing its fleet, Eastar Jet will use Boeing Global Services to enhance its operations. These services include Maintenance Performance Toolbox, which delivers real-time access to information technicians need to quickly resolve emergent airplane maintenance issues and keep airlines on schedule.
Based at Gimpo/Incheon International Airport in Seoul, Korea, Eastar Jet launched operations in 2007 with Next-Generation 737s. Since then, Korea’s low-cost carrier (LCC) market has grown significantly and has become the largest LCC market in Northeast Asia. Over the past five years, the market segment has grown more than 30 percent annually. Based on this growth and the introduction of the 737 MAX 8 to its fleet, Eastar Jet will be able to expand into new markets such as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur among other future destinations.