Taiwan's Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) will take the 11 Boeing 737 Max 8s it plans to acquire on operating lease, following its aircraft acquisition announcement made this week.
In response to FlightGlobal's queries, the carrier says negotiations with candidate lessors are underway, and that it expects to finalise the discussions "very soon."
A fleet management plan has also been submitted to Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration, detailing the planned addition and retirements. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that FAT operates two ATR 72-600s, five MD-82s and three MD-83s.
"Basically, we replace Boeing MD-82s [and] MD-83s gradually, taking [into] consideration their year of manufacture and target aircraft availability (737 Max 8s) in the open market," says FAT.
In its initial announcement, the carrier said the two 737s will be delivered annually from late 2019 onwards, which will be used for fleet replacement and network growth to destinations in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia.
On top of the 737s, the airline is also planning to operate nine ATR 72-600s by 2023.
"For now, we hope everything could be accomplished in year 2023," adds FAT.