Boeing Commercial Airplanes delivered the first 737 MAX 9 aircraft to Lion Air Group in advance of the first flight of that variant, currently scheduled for the first half of this year. Lion Air, a low-cost carrier based in Jakarta, Indonesia, plans to introduce the new aircraft though its Thai Lion Air subsidiary.
The 737 MAX 9 will be the second variant of the 737 MAX series to enter commercial service, following the 737 MAX 8 entering service last May with Malindo Air, another Lion Air subsidiary. The 737 MAX is the fourth and latest version of Boeing’s 737 narrow-body aircraft program. The 737 MAX 9 will carry up to 220 passengers, three more rows of seating than the 737 MAX 8, and will have a maximum range of 3,550 nautical miles.
Boeing notes that the 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in its history, with over 4,300 orders to date from 95 airlines and aircraft leasing groups. Lion Air has ordered 201 of the new aircraft, including the MAX 8, MAX 9, and MAX 10 variants.
"The 737 MAX 9 is a perfect fit for our growing business in Thailand," stated Thai Lion Air CEO and chairman Capt. Darsito Hendro Seputro. "The 737 has been the backbone of our business since we began and we will use the added capacity the airplane provides to expand our network and start additional routes to Bangladesh, China, and India."