Copa Airlines has accepted delivery of the first of 71 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft.
The new narrowbody, registered as HP-9901CMP (c/n 44161), is one of 71 MAX jets ordered from Boeing in 2015.
Copa is due to receive four MAX 9 examples before the end of the year, with an additional eight expected in 2019 and a further nine in 2020.
The Panama City-based carrier has opted for a three-tier configuration with 166 seats. Business class travellers in the newly unveiled Dreams cabin have a choice of 16 reclining lie-flat seats in a 2-2 layout, equipped with 16in (40.6cm) touch screen IFE, alongside a remote control with a separate 4.2in (10.7cm) display. There are also 24 EconomyExtra seats featuring more legroom and a 10in (25.4cm) individual IFE screen, and 126 economy seats fitted with a mobile device holder and USB port.
Copa management has praised the new aircraft’s improved passenger and environmental credentials. The airline says the 737 MAX 9’s upgraded winglets – with an improved aerodynamic design – will decrease polluting gas emissions by up to 50% and total fuel consumption by as much as 40% compared with earlier models. Meanwhile, the CFM LEAP-1B engines are reported to be up to 40% quieter than its predecessors offering a more peaceful flying experience.
Destinations expected to see the new aircraft before the end of 2018 include Miami, Tampa, Boston/Logan and Los Angeles, with additional key US and Latin American cities forming part of its standard roster in the new year.