Hainan Airlines has committed to a US$5.1 billion purchase agreement for 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, reaffirming the Chinese carrier’s preference for an all-Boeing single-aisle fleet.
The deal was signed on Wednesday, although it is subject to final approval by the Chinese government.
The airline currently has a mix of B737 and B767 narrowbody aircraft. With the addition of the B737 MAX 8, Hainan Airlines will be able to retire the older B737-300, B737-400 and B737-700 models from its fleet.
In terms of market share, the B737 MAX has surpassed 2,100 orders from 42 customers worldwide and is the fastest selling aircraft in Boeing’s history.
A key advantage it has over its direct competitor, the Airbus A320neo, is that it’s about eight per cent more fuel efficient due to its lighter weight. In addition, the capacity of the MAX 8 is also superior to the A320neo.
However due to its later entry into the single aisle market, it still lags behind the A320neo which has now passed the 3,000 orders mark.
For a more detailed comparison of the B737 MAX 8 and the A320neo, subscribe to Business Traveller Asia-Pacific magazine and check out the January/February 2014 issue “Max versus Neo” feature (see here).
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