Jet Airways which recently completed 25 years of operation welcomed its first B737 MAX8 aircraft at the national capital New Delhi in India. The airline took delivery of the aircraft at Seattle on 19th June 2018 and the aircraft flew from Seattle to New Delhi via Goose Bay and Prague.
The aircraft is registered VT-JXA and had its first flight on 1st of June 2018. Jet Airways took delivery of the aircraft in presence of its chairman Naresh Goyal in Seattle on 19th June 2018. The aircraft is scheduled to enter commercial service on 1st July. (Read: Jet Airways opens reservation for B737 MAX8)
This is first of the twelve aircraft deal the airline has signed with lessor GECAS. Six of these twelve will be from the GECAS skyline order while six will be Sale and Leaseback from the Jet Airways order of 150 aircraft. GECAS has 150 B737 MAX8 on order. The aircraft is fitted with CFM-LEAP-1B27 engines.
The Boeing 737 MAX is the fourth generation of the 737 and would succeed the Boeing 737NG (Next Generation). Like its rival the Airbus A320neo family, it is primarily a re-engined version of the existing model but offers only one engine type, the CFM International LEAP-1B engines. There have been other additions with majority of them in the flight deck and the aircrafts sports a split-tip winglet known as Split Schimitar winglet.
The MAX program was launched by Boeing in August 2011, largely as a competition to the New Engine Option (neo) which was announced by European rival Airbus in 2010. Boeing offers MAX in four variants as compared to the three of the existing NG and claims to have better fuel burn than rival Airbus. Launch customer Malindo Air took delivery of the first B737 MAX8 on 16th May 2017. The airline has subsequently transferred the aircraft to parent Lion Air in September the same year.
Jet Airways has decided to configure its B737 MAX8 aircraft in 12 Business and 162 Economy class seats, leading to an increase of one row in economy class giving 6 additional seats. With more than an aircraft a month, Jet Airways fleet could have the B737 MAX8 replace all its existing B737s by 2021. Till then the fleet anomalies would continue and would add up to one more subtype of the aircraft in its fleet.
I had an opportunity to fly the B737 MAX8 with Lion Air last year. You can read more about it here and see the pictures.