LONDON – Belarussian carrier, Belavia, has today received its first of five Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which are on lease with Air Lease Corporation (ALC).
The deal between Belavia and ALC was signed back in July 2018, with the first aircraft offering a two-class configuration of 162 seats in Economy and 12 in Business.
Commenting on the news was Sergei Kravchenko, President of Boeing International in the Russia/CIS Region:
“Belavia’s route network has expanded considerably and we are happy to facilitate its development by means of upgrading the fleet. Half of Belavia’s fleet consists of Boeing 737 jets of the previous generations. I am thankful to our partners for choosing once again the newest model of the 737 family,”Sergei Kravchenko, President of Boeing International in the Russia/CIS Region
Also commenting on the news was ALC’s Executive Chairman of the Board, Steven Udvar-Hazy, who stated that this is a historic moment for the company’s relationship with Belavia:
“The delivery of Belavia’s first 737-8 jet is a very important historic moment in our relations with Belavia. Eighteen years ago our team introduced this company to the Boeing 737 family. Today we are happy to announce that the first of the five new 737-8 aircraft has been added to Belavia’s fleet within the framework of the long-term lease agreement,”ALC’s Executive Chairman of the Board, Steven Udvar-Hazy,
With this first delivery completed, Belavia becomes the 28th customer of the aircraft, and based on the long-standing relationship between the airline and Boeing since 2003, it is something that will be continued going into the future as mentioned by Belavia’s Director-General Igor Cherginets:
“Since 2003, our passengers have traveled in Boeing jets. Thanks to Belavia’s aim to improve its services while ensuring safety, the company constantly develops. The Boeing Company, our long-standing partner, is helping us open a new page in the development of our fleet. Jets of the new generation Boeing 737-8 will gradually replace Boeing 737-300 and 737-500 jets that are currently operated by Belavia, which will help us upgrade our fleet. We should also note that 737-8 aircraft have the best characteristics: they are more eco-friendly and cost-effective. This will enable us to reduce ticket prices, which is what our passengers want,”Belavia’s Director-General Igor Cherginets
Cherginets even went as far as discussing the safety of the aircraft and how he has confidence that passengers will be safe onboard the aircraft.
“We are have prepared for the acceptance procedure very thoroughly. Our pilots underwent training to learn to fly such jets a year ago and will do this again now. Maintenance personnel is also set to undergo refresher training and prove that they know how to work with these jets. When we accept delivery of a new aircraft, we should be absolutely sure that we are able to guarantee the safety of our passengers. We hope that every flight will become more comfortable and memorable for our passengers,”
Preliminary data from Planespotters.net shows that the first jet is registered as EW-528PA, and is already 1.8 years old. This is of course due to the aircraft being placed in storage due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic delaying deliveries as airlines were trying to save money.
The aircraft flew to Minsk from Boeing Field with a fuel stop in Keflavik. It offered the test registrations of N1786B and N1779B.