After rumors hit the web less than 24 hours ago, Japan Airlines (JAL) and Boeing have finalized a deal for 21 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
JAL held talks with both Boeing and Airbus, but eventually went the way of Boeing, inking an estimated $2.5 billion dollar deal. The MAX 8 aircraft (now being referred to as 737-8) will continue to support its domestic and regional operations as the airline slowly returns to pre-pandemic levels of traffic.
“We are delighted to select the Boeing 737-8, a member of the very latest 737 MAX family, to replace our Boeing 737-800s, which make up the largest proportion of the JAL Group’s fleet,” said Yuji Akasaka, president of Japan Airlines. “We look forward to carrying our passengers in the utmost safety and comfort and to moving closer to our 2050 carbon-neutral goals, thanks to a combination of these super-efficient aircraft, operational innovations and new fuel-saving technologies.”
“The integration of the new 737 MAX will provide JAL with greater efficiency across its short-haul network, as the airline continues to upgrade its world-class fleet,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Partnering with JAL to introduce 737-8s into its operations is the latest milestone in our longstanding relationship.”
Their first MAX 8 is expected to be delivered in 2026, and will bring a number of benefits including reducing both fuel use and carbon emissions by 15% compared to the Boeing 737-800NGs currently in service. Due to the more efficient, higher bypass ratio engines, the MAX 8 is also much quieter, both inside and out, when compared to the older -800s.
Japan Airlines currently operates 43 Boeing 737-800s, and still remains heavily Boeing oriented (for now), with the exception of its new A350 fleet. The carrier is slowly replacing its entire 777 family with a combination of Airbus A350-900s and -1000s.
So far JAL has 16 A350-900s in service, with two more pending delivery, along with 13 A350-1000 orders due for delivery.
[Featured Photo: Japan Airlines ]