Copa sees 737 Max as next logical aircraft for fleet

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Copa Airlines sees Boeing’s 737 Max as the next “logical aircraft” for its fleet, says chief executive Pedro Heilbron.

“We expect to stay with the Boeing aircraft as the mainstay of our fleet,” he says at the Raymond James Global Airlines Conference in New York today. “We will have to transition into the Max at some point.”

However, Heilbron says that the Panama-based Star alliance carrier is happy with its current orderbook, which includes 33 firm 737-800s and 14 options for the type.

Deliveries are scheduled through 2019, says Jose Montero, chief financial officer of Copa.

Heilbron does not comment on whether Copa is the undisclosed customer for 22 737 Max aircraft that has been listed in Boeing’s orderbook for more than a year.

The airline, along with its Copa Airlines Colombia subsidiary, operates 18 737-700s, 46 737-800s and 26 Embraer 190s, Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database.