Chinese carrier Xiamen Airlines has become the latest airline to take delivery of Boeing’s new 737 Max 8 aircraft, as it looks to double the size of its fleet over the coming years.
Xiamen Airlines has already doubled the number of aircraft it operates from what it was five years ago to 200 today, and currently its fleet comprises solely Boeing aircraft, notably the older variant of the 737 as well as the 757 and the 787 Dreamliner.
“We plan to expand our fleet to 568 planes by 2035, and evolve into a competitive world-class airline serving the globe, doing our part in helping China build a human community with shared destiny,” said Che Shanglun, chairman of Xiamen Airlines.
Alongside the B737 Max 8, Xiamen Airlines is also set to be one of the launch customers for the newest variant of the new Max series, the B737 Max 10.
The Max 10 is the longest of the four aircraft currently in Boeing’s new Max series, which also includes the Max 8, the Max 9, and the Max 7 (launching in 2019). The Max 10 is expected to be the last to launch, likely around 2020.
Xiamen Airlines joins a number of Chinese carriers that already operate the Max 8, notably Air China and Hainan Airlines. Both airlines began flying the aircraft last November, with Air China’s Beijing-Urumqi route the first in China to see the Max 8 followed by Hainan Airlines’ Haikou-Beijing route later that month.
Exact routes for Xiamen Airlines’ Max 8 haven’t been formally announced, though the airline will mostly operate routes connecting Fuzhou with Southeast Asia, Flightglobal reports.
Xiamen Airlines currently operates about 400 routes to destinations in Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania.