Belavia to receive its first B737MAX-8 in May next year

Belavia The lease agreement was signed by Anatoly Gusarov (left), director general of Belavia and Steven Udvar-Házy, executive chairman of Air Lease Corporation (ALC)

As part of its fleet renewal programme to support an expanding route network, Belarus flag carrier Belavia has signed an agreement with Air Leasе Corporation (ALC) for the long-term lease of four CFM LEAP-1B25-powered Boeing 737 MAX-8 narrow-bodies.

The deal, officially announced at the UK’s Farnborough Air Show, reveals that the first MAX-8 delivery is scheduled for May 2019, with the further three due by the end of 2020. The value of the contract has not been disclosed.

Belavia first revealed its lease plans for four re-engined, single-aisle aircraft to Russian Aviation Insider in February of this year. The carrier was then also considering the purchase or lease of two additional aircraft of the type in 2021.

Along with rejuvenating its fleet with new-gen aircraft, Belavia is to gradually phase out its ageing Boeing 737СLs, of which it currently operates seven -300s and six -500s. The fleet expansion programme, planned for the 2019-2020 timeframe, which will support the airline’s developing route network, also includes the delivery of five Embraer regional jets, the production of which are shortly to be taken over by Boeing. The result of this means that, eventually, all aircraft seating 50+ passengers in Belavia’s fleet will be Boeing-related. The deliveries of the E175 and two E195s are scheduled for April next year.

The airline’s fleet currently consists of 29 aircraft (five Boeings 737-800, six Boeings 737-500, seven Boeings 737-300, three Embraers-175, four Embraers-195, four CRsJ-100 / -200).

In Russia and within the CIS region, the collective future fleet of known B737MAX orders is currently greater than 60 units. Russia’s Utair Airlines is thus far the largest customer with its recent order for 30 aircraft, followed by Ural Airlines with a firm order for 10 and an option for another four and S7 Airlines, which is expecting the delivery of the first out of nine aircraft before the end of this year.

Ukraine’s SkyUp is the first air carrier in the former USSR territory to place an order for the B737MAX-10, with three units of the largest version on order, in addition to two B737MAX-8s. Finally, Kazakhstan’s SCAT Airlines, at present the only operator of the MAX series in that region, flies one and has a further five B737MAX-8s on order.

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