Copa Airlines Delays 737 MAX 8 Introduction To September

Two weeks ago, I talked about Copa’s Boeing 737 MAX 8 introduction being delayed by six weeks. Initially they were scheduled to enter service in early July, making its first run to my home airport of Port of Spain (POS). However this was pushed to mid-August, and now the schedule has been delayed by a further two weeks with the first flight scheduled for early September.

The latest revision now puts Quito (UIO) in the front of the line, with the first scheduled service from Panama City expected to commence on September 2, 2024. Havana (HAV), Cuba and Rosario (ROS), Argentina are expected to see MAX 8 service the following day. Lima (LIM) and San Jose (SJO), Costa Rico will follow right behind with their first flights on September 5th.

For those looking to try out the MAX 8 out of a U.S. destination, the airline will operate its first flights out of Panama City to Miami (MIA) on September 15, Orlando (MCO) on September 17 and Washington Dulles (IAD) on September 18. These dates are pretty much similar to the last schedule change.

Are Copa’s 737 MAX 8s even ready?

At this point I’m not sure what to make of the delivery situation. Copa’s own website claims that the airline has two MAX 8s in its fleet, but it’s unclear what that means exactly. Have they been delivered on paper, or are they aircraft that previously flew for other airlines that are going through outfitting and repainting works?

It’s anyone’s guess at this point as to their actual status, but with no public information on line numbers or even spy shots, we’ll just have to wait until they finally take flight bearing the blue, gold and white livery.

Copa MAX 8s generic layout

Unlike their 737 MAX 9, their MAX 8s will have a generic layout with 16 recliner-style business class seats, and 150 economy seats. Of those 150, 24 are Economy Extra with 34 inches of seat pitch. Regular economy ranges between 30 and 31 inches.

Unfortunately business class passengers suffer a bit of a squeeze, with only 38 inches of seat pitch. It’s actually very comparable to what U.S. carriers like American and United offer on their MAX 8s, but there are airlines out there offering much better legroom. This is also a step down from Copa’s MAX 9s which have full lie-flat seats in business.

Featured image: Boeing

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