Want to fly on the first 737 MAX commercial flight? Better head to Asia. After some bickering between Southwest Airlines and Norwegian over deliveries and launch schedules it turns out that Malindo Air, part of the Lion Air group, will operate the first commercial service of the type between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in Q2 2017. Flights to Bangkok and Guangzhou will be added as more deliveries are made.
All three airlines are expecting to take their initial deliveries in May but the plans for commercial service vary from there. Norwegian plans to fly the MAX on some domestic proving routes before pressing it into Transatlantic service in June 2017. Southwest will hold the aircraft for several months, building up its fleet before the official introduction in October 2017.
— Seth Miller (@WandrMe) March 17, 2017
While Southwest‘s launch covers the original triangle route it will also include dozens of other routes across the country. The carrier expects to have nine 737MAX aircraft in the fleet when service launches on 1 October 2017. That EIS coincides with the retirement of the 737-300 from the carrier’s fleet.
Alas, between other commitments and not really wanting to go to Asia for a quick hop it seems I’ll be missing this type inaugural. But getting on board one soon thereafter shouldn’t be too hard. I have a particular route and date in mind.
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