Supplied by Boeing

JOHANNESBURG  -Boeing delivered the first 737 MAX 8 to Comair Limited, which becomes the first airline in sub-Sahara Africa to operate the fuel-efficient jet. The airplane is the first of eight 737 MAX airplanes on order for Comair as the airline looks to refresh its fleet and offer better service for its passengers.

Comair operates domestic routes as a British Airways franchisee and also operates as a low-cost carrier under its own kulula.com brand.

The 737 MAX range is the latest incarnation of the most popular jet aircraft ever and is equipped with the latest technology to improve the customer experience, range, flexibility and fuel efficiency and reliability.

Comair said it had ordered eight of these aircraft as part of its fleet renewal strategy, with the last one due for delivery in 2022. It is the first airline in southern Africa to acquire the 737 MAX 8 and the new aircraft will replace its remaining Boeing 737-400s.

"More seats, lower operating costs and less maintenance downtime will enhance operating efficiency and improve punctuality," said Wrenelle Stander, executive director of Comair’s airline division.

Comair said its fleet renewal strategy had been delivering results since it began in 2001 and the airline now used 55 percent less fuel per passenger.

Lufthansa Technik will service the new aircraft, Stander said.

“Lufthansa Technik’s experience with the aircraft type and the operational efficiencies we will gain from faster turnaround times will enable us to fully leverage the benefits of our investment and improve customer service,” she said.

Comair’s two airline brands, British Airways -- which it operates under licence -- and kulula.com, fly to 11 destinations in South and southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region.

- African News Agency (ANA)