Bahamasair has agreed to purchase a Boeing 737-000 from AerCap, the airline’s chief executive Tracy Cooper tells FlightGlobal.
The airline, which will fund the purchase with cash, expects to take delivery of the aircraft in December. Deposits have been made, says Cooper.
The 737-700, MSN30662, was previously operated by China’s Lucky Air and Alaska Airlines. It was built in 2003, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows. The aircraft will be the first 737NG in Bahamasair’s fleet, which comprises three 737-500s and five ATR turboprops.
Bahamasair will use the 737-700, to be configured with 144 seats, to add more capacity from Florida to the Bahamas, says Cooper. Demand in that market is growing following the opening of the Baha Mar resort in Nassau, he points out.
The carrier serves Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando and West Palm Beach in Florida, FlightGlobal schedules data show.
From 2019, Bahamasair estimates it will be require two additional 737NGs for future growth. Cooper says it is not clear if the airline will purchase or lease these aircraft.
“We are now operating the maximum number of routes possible without affecting our reliability,” he adds. “If we don’t keep growing our fleet, it’s going to be a problem to keep up. US airlines like JetBlue will come in to fill the void.”