SpiceJet, which has an all-Boeing narrowbody jet fleet, has been in expansion mode, and their chariot of choice has been the Boeing 737 MAX, which they have about 205 of on order at the moment. All eyes were on SpiceJet after Jet Airways received their first Boeing 737 MAX late in June 2018. The first SpiceJet 737 MAX aircraft is aptly registered as VT-MAX, taking a cue from FlyDubai who went with A6-MAX for their first Boeing 737 MAX.
So, what can you expect to see inside SpiceJet’s new Boeing 737 MAX, given there will be another 200 of those coming in? SpiceJet plans to induct 11 of these by December 2018. We make some educated guesses here.
189 Seats. Movable headrests for SpiceMax on SpiceJet 737 MAX
SpiceJet has chosen to go with 189 seats on the new aircraft. This means it is no denser than the current existing configurations on the Boeing 737-800 being flown by SpiceJet, which have 32 rows.
The first thing one notices is the movable headrests on the SpiceMAX seats. That should provide one more feature to buy SpiceMAX, apart from their excellent food on board.
Wifi on board SpiceJet 737 MAX
The radome gives it away. While SpiceJet can’t launch in-flight wifi at the moment, given there is no licensed service provider in India for in-flight wifi, there is a prominent radome on the plane. In all probability, SpiceJet is going to activate wifi solutions provided by Lufthansa Technik once they can go live with this service. Lufthansa Technik is also partner with SpiceJet for their IFE solutions.
Recaro Slimline Seats
SpiceJet went with the Recaro BL3530 Smart seats, which they have 10,000 of on order at the moment. The seat will have a magazine shelf in the headboard. This is slightly surprising to me since various media had earlier reported that SpiceJet was going for the Boeing supported 737 Tourist Class Seating.
I am also sure I read somewhere about SpiceJet having chosen to add USB charging on the seatback just like Jet Airways, which isn’t impossible given they will be providing wifi. They already must be having the SpicEngage IFE box fitted on the aircraft as well.
Given they have taken on the existing 32 rows in the new configuration, I am hoping they haven’t felt the need to add smaller loos to their planes. Of course, you get to experience much quieter and more fuel-efficient flying due to the LEAP engines, inside these cowlings with chevrons designed for noise reduction.
The first commercial flight of this airframe is still unknown and it seems won’t happen before October 10, 2018. SpiceJet will use their MAX to fly to Hong Kong in November 2018 and onwards.
SpiceJet has up to 205 of Boeing 737 MAXs on order, having ordered in 2016 100 new aircraft, converted 42 from an existing order and added 13 discretely. They also have purchase rights on another 50 planes. SpiceJet is in the group of launch customers for the Boeing 737 MAX 10, where they have 40 of those on order as well.
What do you think of SpiceJet’s MAX product? Love it? Hate it? Forget it?
I am scared of flying on these 737 Max planes now – I was feeling a bit uncomfortable on these planes when I recently flew to Thailand with Spice Jet. I hope all airlines will go thorough check up of these 737 planes.
Hey Ajay,. With the two recent air accidents involving 737 max, and I also hear China stopping all 737s till proper investigation and results are not known for these crashes, do you think Indian DGCA could follow suit?
If yes, which all airlines are expected to be impacted?