March 11, 2019

Samoa Airways unveils Boeing 737 MAX 9

Samoa’s national carrier Samoa Airways has revealed what it’s newest aircraft looks like.

The airline posted a photo of the Boeing 737 MAX 9 on its Facebook page on Sunday, with the caption, “Fresh out of the paint hangar in Seattle. A sneak peek at our new Boeing 737 Max 9. Watch this space!”

The photo was taken by Chris Edwards, at Boeing Flight Test & Delivery. 

Last week, the Minister of Samoa Airways, Lautafi Fio Purcell, said the new Boeing 737 Max 9 is scheduled to arrive next month, replacing the leased Boeing 737-800 currently being used.

The new aircraft, one of two the airline is planning to bring, will allow Samoa Airways to consider other routes, he said.

“That is the luxury of having two aircrafts is we can look at other destinations. We can look at Melbourne, Wellington and Tonga and all those other destinations. We will have it fully crewed by Samoans – from the pilot to co-pilot and crew members – and they will be trained for that,” he said.

The Boeing 737 Max aircraft, he added, is fitted with the latest technology offering flexibility and is designed to provide passengers with a comfortable flying experience.

The airplane will feature the new Boeing Sky Interior, highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger overhead stowage bins.

“This is the cheapest for a brand new plane and it is going to be bigger in size and carrying more people and a lot of freight,” explained Lautafi.

“It is planned to arrive first week of April and the first flight to Auckland is scheduled on 15 April if everything goes well.

“It will replace the current plane that its lease finishes on 14 April while the new one flies out on 15. Its being painted and will have the Pacific Games logo on it and those are some of the small things that need to be done before it is ready. These are crucial because you cannot undo these things once they are put together, you do it once you do it right.”

The new Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft will be leased from the Air Lease Corporation (A.L.C.) in the United States.

The acquisition of the aircraft comes at a time when international news is dominated by a crash involving an Ethiopian Airlines 737-800 Max.

SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS
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