Panama's Copa Airlines will likely place an order for the Boeing 737 Max in 2014, says chief executive Pedro Heilbron.
Copa, which operates 737s and Embraer 190s, has said it will have to order the 737 Max at some point for its future aircraft needs. "Sometime next year, we will have to do something," Heilbron tells Flightglobal Pro when asked when Copa will place an order.
The 737 Max will enter into service in 2017, and Heilbron believes that Copa will not receive aircraft until 2018 or later. Copa still has 27 737-800s on order, Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows. They are scheduled for delivery through 2016.
Heilbron denies speculation that Copa is among Boeing's undisclosed customers for 737 Max orders in the airframer's backlog. "We have disclosed all the orders we have," he says.
Copa will take delivery of eight 737-800s in 2014, and will end 2014 with a fleet of 98 aircraft.