Fiji Airways selects five Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets to upgrade fleet
Fiji’s national airline Fiji Airways has chosen five new 737 MAX 8 family aircraft from Boeing to modernise its existing fleet.
Currently operating five Boeing 737 aircraft on its short and medium-haul routes, the airline, which will use the new jets to replace its narrow-body fleet.
Deliveries of the first two aircraft are scheduled to take place by 2018, with plans to deliver the remaining three by the subsequent year.
The selection of new Boeing aircraft is a part of Fiji Airways’ three-year old fleet modernisation programme, which began with the delivery of a wide-bodied A330-200 jet.
Under the fleet upgrade programme, the airline has upgraded its fleet with three new A330-200s and one A330-300 aircraft.
Fiji Airways managing director and CEO Andre Viljoen said: “The improved operating economics and product enhancements were compelling reasons to consider renewing the current Boeing 737 aircraft.
“This is a major capital decision that had to be done correctly so we followed a rigorous, thorough and transparent process to find the right solution.
"As a consequence of the fierce competition between the rival bidders and the extensive process followed by Fiji Airways, we have achieved a ground-breaking package deal that represents excellent value for our shareholders, customers and stakeholders.”
The carrier further noted that the latest aircraft deal made with Boeing, leasing company GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) and engine manufacturers CFM International features a 12-year sale and leaseback financing arrangement.
Equipped with 170 seats, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft is designed to provide customers with reduced cabin noise, additional overhead cabin space, and improved interiors and lighting.
Image: A Fiji Airways flight. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.