Copa Airlines, based in Panama City, Panama, has placed an order for 61 737 MAX aircraft. The order includes two variants of Boeing’s next generation 737.
Copa operarates from its hub in Panama City to cities throughout North and South America. The airline currently flies some of the longest 737 flights in the world from Buenos Aeries and Montevideo back to Panama City. The 737 MAX’s should make these long flight more manageable for the airline. Copa is a large customer of Boeing’s 737 aircraft with a total of 71 Boeing 737s in service as of now and 35 more on the way excluding this new order.
Currently, Copa has 16 737-700 series aircraft in the fleet after phasing out four aircraft (they are going to United). They also have 55 737-800 series aircraft in the fleet with 35 more on order.
The new order does not yet specify the number of each variant ordered, but the order is for 61 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft.
Delivery of these new aircraft will commence in 2018 just as the deliveries of the current generation -800s are completed.
CEO of Copa, Pedro Heilbron, stated “The Next-Generation 737 is the backbone for our fleet today, and our order for the 737 MAX shows our continued commitment for the future to bring people together across all of the Americas using the most modern and efficient airplanes in the sky as well as our Hub of the Americas, in Panama City.”
This $6.6 billion order was announced at the Summit of the Americas in Panama. President Valera and President Obama were both present witnessing the signing of the documents for the order.
The order comes as a boost for the 737 MAX 9, which recently has been losing orders to Airbus’ A321neo.