Boeing Gets Regulatory Approval to Deliver 737 MAX

Boeing has delivered its new 737 MAX aircraft to Malaysian airline Malindo Air, marking the first delivery of the aircraft type.

The delivery came after Boeing sent about 30 of the engines for its 737 MAX planes back to their manufacturer due to concerns about potentially defective turbine disks.

The low-cost airline seeks to commence flights between Europe and North America using the MAX 9's auxiliary fuel tanks to lower trip costs and maximize the range to accommodate flights connecting Europe to the east coast of the U.S. This is believed to be the first time a single-aisle jetliner would be used for routine transatlantic non-stop commercial passenger service.

Boeing has so far received around 3,700 orders for the 737 MAX family from 87 customers worldwide. The agreement also includes purchase rights for four additional 737 MAX 9s and a lease agreement for eight more airplanes from Air Lease Corp.

The affected engines were taken off the airplanes last week and sent for inspection to CFM, which is a joint venture between engine makers GE of the USA and Safran of France. And thanks to manufacturing scale and processes honed over decades, they are the biggest profit generators for the planemakers, one reason why investors have closely watched the progress of the latest Boeing single-aisle jet so closely.

John Higgins, Avolon's president and CCO, said this marked the first delivery of Avolon's commitments of over 60 737 MAX aircraft.

Malindo, whose name is derived from the country names of Malaysia and Indonesia, will be the first airline to fly the 737 Max commercially. To date, Boeing has received nearly 3,700 orders from 87 customers across the globe for the 737 MAX.

If all goes to plan, current-generation 737 planes and the Max will generate about US$25 billion in revenue this year, about 27% of the company total, according to Ferguson.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Kevin McAllister said in a statement that the MAX "will change the face of the single-aisle market". "The 737 MAX 8 is the best in its class, providing unmatched performance and economics for our airline customers".

Vanessa Coleman

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