[Aviation Today March 19, 2014] South African airline Comair has placed an $830 million order for eight 737 MAX 8s, becoming the first African operator to order Boeing
's latest 737 family aircraft.
Comair is looking to use the purchase to provide modernization and expansion for its existing all-Boeing fleet of 25 Classic and Next-Generation 737s. Erik Venter, CEO of Comair, said the purchase is critical to managing the airline's "exposure to the volatile fuel price and thus minimizing the impact of the fuel price on airfares."
Since first launching the 737 MAX program in 2011, Boeing has garnered more than 1,800 orders for the aircraft. The company is promising a fuel burn improvement of 14 percent over the Next-Generation 737. The 737 MAX is on schedule to enter into service in 2017 with launch customer Southwest Airlines.