Panama's Copa Airlines is expecting its first Boeing 737 Max delivery in the second half of 2018.

The Star Alliance carrier, which has orders for 61 737 Max aircraft, will take delivery of a 737 Max 9 at that time, says Copa chief executive Pedro Heilbron.

The Max 9s will work well on Copa's high load factor routes, he adds.

Heilbron remains coy on when Copa will place an order for the next generation of small narrowbody jets to eventually replace its fleet of Embraer 190s. While the airline is considered a natural candidate for the Embraer E-Jet E2 family, Heilbron says the carrier is "evaluating all our options".

"We are happy with our Embraer fleet right now. There is no rush," he says. "The E-190 is performing well, especially with fuel coming down."

Bombardier is known to be aggressively marketing its CSeries to airlines, as it looks to offer an alternative to the E-Jet. Asked if Copa is in talks with the airframer, Heilbron says: "Everybody approaches us.... we are interested in everything but that doesn't mean we will order everything."

Source: Cirium Dashboard