PARIS: Skymark to order at least four 737 Max jets

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Skymark Airlines has signed a commitment to purchase at least four Boeing 737 Max aircraft.

The aircraft will replace 737-800s in the Tokyo-based carrier's fleet, says Shinichi Nishikubo, Skymark's president and chief executive. The airline has 30 737-800s currently and will have 35 of the type by 2014.

The deal is understood to cover the 737 Max 8, which was pictured in the Skymark livery in a Boeing presentation. Neither the airline nor the airframer confirmed the variant.

John Wojick, senior vice-president of global sales at Boeing, says that the final number of 737 Max aircraft that Skymark orders is still the subject of negotiations, but adds that it could be up to 35 in order to replace its existing narrowbody fleet.

"We're really pleased to have [Skymark] launch the 737 Max in Japan," he says.

Japanese mainline carriers All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines have yet to order any of the next generation of narrowbody aircraft offered by Airbus and Boeing.