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Copa Delays 737 MAX 8 Launch Amid Boeing Delivery Woes

The Panama City-based airline is further delaying the 737 MAX 8's entry into service.

A Copa Boeing 737 MAX aircraft (Photo: Shutterstock)

Copa Airlines is feeling the effects of Boeing’s delivery woes as it delays the launch of its new 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The Panamanian carrier – which currently only operates Boeing 737-700, 737-800, and 737 MAX 9 jets – is now slated to debut the smaller MAX 8 type in early September, according to schedule data from Cirium Diio.

The airline had originally planned to begin service with the new aircraft on July 5, 2024 between Panama City and Trinidad, per Gate Checked. The airline later revised its schedule, shifting the launch to August 15, according to Aeroroutes.

In Copa’s latest schedule filing from this past weekend, the carrier has further delayed the aircraft’s entry into revenue service to Sept. 2, 2024, nearly two months behind schedule. The aircraft’s inaugural flight is slated from Panama City to Quito.

According to the most recent schedule, the carrier plans to ramp up 737 MAX 8 operations in September to 196 flights, including to U.S. destinations of Boston, Miami, Orlando, and Washington Dulles. This plan is down substantially from the 323 flights planned in the airline’s earlier schedule iteration.

Copa’s 737 MAX 8 will be laid out in a standard 166-seat configuration, eight fewer than the carrier’s higher-density MAX 9 aircraft. The MAX 8 will have 16 business class seats along with 150 in economy.

Per Cirium Ascend Fleet Analyzer data, Copa has seven 737 MAX 8s on order in addition to 15 yet-to-be-certified MAX 10s. The carrier’s current fleet of 737 MAX aircraft includes 30 of the larger MAX 9 variant.

In a statement to AirlineGeeks, the airline said it does not yet have a firm delivery date for the first MAX 8.

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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