Earlier today, Primera Air announced an order for eight brand new 737 Max 9 aircraft, along with purchase rights for four additional aircraft. They also announced a lease agreement for eight more of the aircraft. (Boeing will sell eight aircraft to the Air Lease Corp, which will then lease them to Primera.) Boeing confirmed the order. The eight aircraft that Primera Air is purchasing for itself have an estimated value of $950 million.
“We have waited for this aircraft type for a long time, and now we will be able to open up routes that have only been operated by wide body aircraft, or had no direct service at all,” said Primera Air President Andri Ingolfsson. “This assures that Primera will have one of the most economically competitive airline operations in Europe.”
This new order signifies that Primera Air is expecting to experience rapid growth in the coming months and years. With the eight new Max 9 aircraft alone, Primera is almost doubling the size of its fleet, as it currently operates only nine aircraft. Its confirmed eight aircraft from the Air Lease Corp will then increase the fleet size by close to 50%.
“We are pleased to announce ALC’s lease placement of eight 737 Max 9 [aircraft] with Primera Air Nordic, a new customer for ALC,” said Grant Levy, Executive Vice President of the Air Lease Corps.
Primera Air is a European low-budget airline. They are are a part of Primera Travel Group, and they operate mainly in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Estonia. They plan to use their new aircraft to begin flights between Europe and North America. The auxiliary fuel tanks in the 737 Max 9s allow the carrier to have lower trip costs and maximize the aircraft’s range to handle flights between the two continents. Primera is the latest airline that plans to use single-aisle aircraft to operate transatlantic routes, and the Max 9 seems like the perfect fit for the airline to do so.
“This aircraft has a lower per-seat cost than the current wide-body aircraft servicing the transatlantic,” said Ingolfsson in a statement recently released by the airline.
In a statement, Boeing said that it expects the Max 9 to form the ‘backbone’ of Primera Air’s fleet. The manufacturer has a total of 3700 orders of Max aircraft, but has had to temporarily stop production due to a glitch in the engines, which are produced by CFM International. This glitch is expected to be resolved in a couple weeks, and Boeing says that Max 8 deliveries will continue as planned.
“The Max 8 and 9 will be followed in 2019 by the smaller Max 7 and higher capacity Max 200, while studies and customer discussions continue on further growing the family,” said Boeing.