Kunming Airlines welcomes first 737MAX
Chinese based carrier Kunming Airlines today took delivery of their first Boeing 737MAX 8. The airline which commenced operations in 2009 placed a MoU for 10 of the 737MAX 8s during the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow. The order further highlighted the airlines commitment to Boeing as they operate an all Boeing single-aisle fleet with the 737-800 and 737-700 flying.
When the MoU was placed the Boeing Commercial Airlines President and CEO Ray Conner said: “These new airplanes will support Kunming Airlines’ strategic plan to establish an extensive flight network throughout China and increase their global reach.” Adding “We look forward to welcoming Kunming Airlines as a 737 MAX 7 launch customer in China and finalizing the deal in the near future,”
Kunming Airlines operate to a number of Chinese airports with expansions only recently extending to Thailand. Bangkok flights are slated to begin on the 28 of October this year. The airline is currently 80% owned by fellow Chinese based carrier Shenzen Air with the final 20% being owned by a businessman.
The airline has plans to expand in the next 4 years with a plan introduced in 2008, a year before the commencement of their operations. In the next 4 years they want to grow their fleet to 150-200 planes while opening up new hubs and focusing heavily on international services. However, up until 2015, their goal was to expand to 100 aircraft. Currently, the airline operates just over 20.