Jet Airways signed on for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in 2013 for the first time, confirming their order in 2015. They ordered 75 in one go to replace their existing fleet of aircraft, and then earlier in 2018, they opened their chequebook for another order of 75 aircraft which would be able to grow their operations. In total, 150 Jet Airways 737 MAX aircraft should be in the air over the next 5-7 years.
Ever since then, it has been the magic pill we have been all waiting for. While the average age of a Jet Airways B737 aircraft is 8.5 years as I write this, some of their oldest aircraft have been around on their fleet since 2002, so, maybe a good time to replace them.
The Boeing 737 MAX is the fourth generation of the 737, succeeding the Boeing 737 Next Generation (NG). Like the Airbus A320neo, the Boeing 737 MAX is a re-engined design with more efficient CFM International LEAP-1B engines, aerodynamic improvisation such as the split-tip winglets and modifications to the airframe. Boeing already sold 4500 of these aircraft and started delivering them last year from their Seattle Delivery Centre.
Every bit the better aircraft than the NG, the 737 MAX promises 15% less fuel burn, which means lower fuel bills and lesser CO2 footprint. But not just that, inspired by the 787, there is a quieter aircraft as well. The 737 MAX 8 will replace the 737-800 variant currently in service. The range for the new aircraft is 3550 miles, which is much better compared to the 2935 miles offered by the 737-800 Next Generation aircraft.
Given everything that is going for the new aircraft, it is no wonder we are excited that Jet Airways is going to be the first Indian operator to get their 737 MAX 8 in the coming month. The first aircraft’s fuselage is at Boeing’s FAL for the MAX in Renton, and it shows up in the video that Boeing sent out to wish Jet Airways on their 25th Birthday.
A reason to celebrate in our factory today–25th anniversary for Jet Airways and a sneak peek at what’s next. Congratulations @jetairways, we look forward to many more! #25YearsOf9W #737MAX #avgeek pic.twitter.com/IBmEAJSWl3
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) May 5, 2018
Okay, here is another picture of the fuselage as it arrived into Renton to get to the Final Assembly Line.
Once done, it should look like this.
The first ever @Boeing #737MAX for an Indian carrier @JetAirways seems to be coming together at Renton assembly line at the moment. It seems it will be registered as VT-JXA in India. The flying sun looks good on it (This is just a render)! #avgeek pic.twitter.com/cZkGMJi7BN
— Ajay Awtaney (@LiveFromALounge) May 3, 2018
The first Boeing 737 MAX for Jet Airways is going to be registered at VT-JXA, and 9W promises that the onboard experience will be changed for the better. In the words of the CEO,
It will have some new shiny stuff on board, a gizmo here a gadget there, but for that you will have to wait till we unveil it.
Given Jet Airways is considering wifi in the sky and already has been beaming out content via JetScreen, I do expect them to put some sort of charging ports on the plane.
The aircraft will have more seats than the current aircraft and will be configured with 162 Economy and 12 Business Class seats. But do not expect flatbeds just because a certain Middle-Eastern airline put them on their MAX! On the other hand, I do hope that those Economy seats do not become so thin that when the airline starts flying these on 5 hour long routes, the butt hurts!
One of the best things that could happen will be that once all these planes start flying, you will see one consistent product on board. Right now, various Jet Airways planes can have a different product, and you don’t know till you arrive on board. The other good thing, which works better for the airline and all of us, is that new routes can open up with the induction of this aircraft.
What is your expectation from Jet Airways new Boeing 737 MAX 8? I’d love to hear…