Artist's rendering of a Boeing 737 MAX 9 in Primera Air livery.
Boeing and Primera Air officials have announced an order for eight 737 MAX 9 airplanes, valued at more than $950 million at list prices. 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 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, twin-engine jetliner would be used for routine transatlantic non-stop commercial passenger service.
"The 737 MAX 9 will allow Primera Air to open up nonstop, long-haul routes from Europe to the U.S. with unmatched economics," said Andri M. Ingolfsson, president, Primera Air. "This aircraft has a lower per-seat cost than the current wide body aircraft servicing the transatlantic and the capabilities of this aircraft type will change the economics of the industry. This will open up fantastic possibilities for growth for Primera Air in the future."
Primera Air is an all-Boeing carrier currently operating a fleet of nine Next-Generation 737-700s and 737-800s with flights to more than 70 airports in Europe. Primera Air is part of the Primera Travel Group that operates travel agencies and tour operating companies in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Estonia.
The MAX 8 and 9 will be followed in 2019 by the smaller MAX 7 and higher capacity MAX 200, while studies and customer discussions continue on further growing the family. The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 3,700 orders from 87 customers worldwide.
The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, certified in March. However, two days before the Primera Air announcement, the engine type was grounded when it was found that one source of the nickel-alloy forgings used in the engine’s low-pressure turbine discs were prone to cracking. Boeing and engine maker CFM International must now work with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to clear all LEAP-1B engines for flight.