Comair has options for eight more 737 Max jets: chief

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South African carrier Comair has “floating options” for a further eight Boeing 737-800 Max 8 twinjets on top of its order for eight of the type, says chief executive Erik Venter.

“If we see better economic growth in the country, that would be a big factor,” Venter tells Flightglobal. “We will also need to see what happens with the state-owned airline and gauge the impact of new entrants bringing competition into the market before making any decisions.”

Poor GDP growth in South Africa and the current weakness of the rand are also significant challenges which would need to be considered before the British Airways franchise partner placed additional orders, he adds.

Venter says Comair would expect to start taking delivery of the airliners within three to four years if it does decide to firm them.

All eight of the 737-8 Max jets Comair today confirmed it has ordered will remain under the airline’s ownership rather than being sold and leased back, Venter confirms.