Boeing and Tokyo-based Skymark Airlines have announced the airline’s intent to select the Boeing 737 MAX as its next generation single aisle aircraft of choice, making it Japan’s first airline to do so.
The announcement came on the first day of the 2013 Paris Air Show.
Boeing will work closely with Skymark to finalise a firm order in the coming months.
“We are delighted to deepen our partnership with Boeing and work together on the renewal of our single-aisle fleet,” said Shinichi Nishikubo, president and chief executive of Skymark Airlines.
“The Next-Generation 737 has been a key driver of our successful growth, and we are sure that the 737 MAX will provide us with even greater efficiency and competitive edge as we move into the next stage of expansion.”
Based at its Haneda Airport hub in Tokyo, Skymark Airlines currently operates a fleet of 30 Next-Generation 737-800s on a lease from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) and other lessors.
“Skymark is a pioneer in Japan’s commercial aviation market as they continue to introduce new and innovative airplanes,” said John Wojick, senior vice president, sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“Under Shinichi Nishikubo leadership, Skymark became the first airline in Japan to bring the innovative Boeing Sky Interior to the travelling public onboard its fleet of Next Generation 737-800 airplanes.
“And now Skymark is poised to become Japan’s first airline to enjoy the superior economic performance and environmental advantages of the 737 MAX.”
The 737 MAX builds on the strengths of the world’s best-selling Next-Generation 737.
The 737 MAX incorporates the latest-technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.
Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see a 13 percent fuel-use improvement over today’s most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplanes.