Despite the ongoing issues with the Boeing 737 MAX planes, SunExpress announced it had exercised an option for 10 additional MAX planes, totaling around $1.2 billion, according to list prices.
The option is in addition to the 32 Boeing MAX planes the carrier already has on order.
SunExpress has achieved significant growth in recent years as it steadily expanded and renewed its fleet of mainly Boeing 737 airplanes. In total, the airline carried nearly 10 million to around 100 destinations each year.
“We have a long-standing, strong and trustful relationship with Boeing and thus we decided to turn our option into an order,” SunExpress CEO Jens Bischof said in a statement. “We stand behind our strategic decision to phase the 737 MAX into our fleet for all of its economic and ecological advantages, mid- and long-term.”
“We have full confidence that Boeing will deliver us a safe, reliable, and efficient aircraft,” Bischof continued. “However, it goes without saying that this requires the undisputed airworthiness of the model, granted by all relevant authorities. Our utmost priority at SunExpress is and has always been safety.”
The new MAX planes purchased by SunExpress will feature between 130 to 230 seats and the ability to fly up to 3,850 nautical miles. In addition, the aircraft provides a 14 percent improvement over the most efficient single-aisle planes today and extended range to open up new destinations.
“We are honored and humbled by the trust that SunExpress has placed in our team at Boeing,” Boeing president Stan Deal said. “They have been a wonderful partner over the years, demonstrating every day the efficiency and reliability of the Boeing 737 across their growing network.”
“We regret the impact the MAX grounding has had on SunExpress and their passengers,” Deal continued. “The Boeing team is working hard to safely return the airplane to service and providing the capacity for SunExpress to continue serving as the backbone of air travel in the Turkish tourism industry.”
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