Japan’s third-largest airline, Skymark Airlines, plans to acquire up to 12 737 MAX aircraft as part of its fleet renewal plan, Boeing said on Thursday.
According to the planemaker, the Japanese carrier plans to purchase four jets on its own, in the 737-8 and 737-10 variants, with options for two more aircraft.
The remaining planes (six 737-8 jets) will be added to the company’s fleet through leasing. Skymark currently operates 29 Next-Generation 737-800 models, the predecessor generation of the MAX family.
“Skymark Airlines looks to sustainably grow its fleet, the 737 MAX family offers market-leading efficiency and environmental performance,” said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing’s senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “With commonality and enhanced capabilities, the 737-8 and 737-10 will enable Skymark Airlines to optimize its fleet across all operations.”
The Skymark order will be added to Boeing’s backlog once the deal is finalized. None of the parties, so far, has informed a deadline for the delivery of the aircraft.
However, it is likely that the Japanese company will receive the 737-8 models first, as the 737-10 version is not yet available for deliveries due to the delay in its certification in the US, which is only expected for 2024.
Skymark is based at Haneda Airport in Tokyo and only flies to domestic destinations in Japan, unlike All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines.