Samoa Airways has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Air Lease Corporation (ALC) to lease one Boeing 737 MAX 9 that will replace the airline’s sole 737-800.

The 737-800 has been wet-leased from the Italian airline Neos via Icelandair. According to the Samoa Observer, Prime Minister Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi stated that the B738 will be returned when the new B737 MAX 9 arrives.

Samoa Airways B737-800 has been wet-leased by Neos. Image by Brisbane Airport via Instagram

The 737 MAX 9 is expected to be delivered in March 2019, and a second unspecified aircraft is expected to follow in June 2019.

The 737 will operate between its hub at Apia Faleolo International Airport and Brisbane and Sidney, Australia, as well as Auckland, New Zealand.

“This aircraft in an all economy configuration can accommodate 220 passengers so it is almost as big as the B767-200. Therefore it not only carries more passengers, but has about a 20% greater cargo and belly capacity,” said Steven Hazy, Air Lease Corporation Executive Chairman.

The new B737 MAX-9 will be configured with 16 Business Class seats and 173 Economy Class seats. With the arrival of the new aircraft, Samoa will become the first MAX-9 operator in Oceania and the second MAX operator in Oceana after Fiji Airways.

Featured image by Samoa Airways

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