On Tuesday at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition in Malaysia, CEO Chandran Rama Muthy announced that Malindo Air (Malaysia) would become the Launch Operator of the Boeing 737 MAX 8. While it will not be the first to be delivered, Malindo Air has committed to becoming the first to operate it in scheduled service, stating that it should be flying between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in early May. Malindo Air will beat Southwest Airlines to operating the 737 MAX 8 in scheduled service; as reported yesterday on Layoverhub, Southwest will not begin scheduled service until October. Norwegian Airlines will not be starting 737 MAX service until June.
In a statement at LIMA, Muthy said that “This new aircraft, which allows us to go to further destinations at a distance of 7 hours 30 mins, will certainly help attract tourists to our country. As tourism is a key revenue generator for the country, this new aircraft will play a key role in providing lower fares on air travel.”
Malindo Air’s 737 MAX 8 delivery comes as part of a 201 aircraft order from parent company Lion Group. The delivery of the aircraft come as Malindo Air is embarking on a expansion program, with Airbus A330-300 aircraft on order to serve destinations in East and South Asia.
Malindo Air is a hybrid, low-cost airline based out of Kuala Lumpur International Airport, operating a fleet of ATR72 and Boeing 737 aircraft to destinations across Southeast Asia and the Middle East.