Japan Airlines Signs Deal For 21 Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft

Reports of Japan Airlines (JAL) placing an order for Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft were doing the rounds for quite some time. And now, both have confirmed that the airline will, indeed, go ahead with this plan by placing an order for 21 MAX planes. The order is part of JAL’s fleet renewal program, and the new planes will join its fleet in about three years from now.

21 Boeing 737 MAX planes

Japan Airlines placed a firm an order for 21 737-8 jets from Boeing. The airline was reportedly in talks with both Airbus and Boeing for an order for its narrowbody fleet renewal program, and Boeing has won this round. Yuji Akasaka, president of Japan Airlines, commented,


“We are delighted to select the Boeing 737-8, a member of the very latest 737 MAX family, to replace our Boeing 737-800s, which make up the largest proportion of the JAL Group’s fleet. We look forward to carrying our passengers in the utmost safety and comfort and to moving closer to our 2050 carbon-neutral goals, thanks to a combination of these super-efficient aircraft, operational innovations and new fuel-saving technologies.”

Photo: Wunlop_Worldpix_Exposure | Shutterstock

The 737-8 will help JAL strengthen its domestic and regional network as passenger traffic continues to return to pre-pandemic levels. The airline is expecting to introduce the airplanes into its fleet in 2026.

Continuing with the 737 series

Rumors of Japan Airlines favoring Boeing over Airbus for its MAX aircraft were circulating for quite some time. Boeing is undoubtedly pleased with the order, which further cements the MAX’s credibility across the world. Stan Deal, president, and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, commented,

“The integration of the new 737 MAX will provide JAL with greater efficiency across its short-haul network, as the airline continues to upgrade its world-class fleet. Partnering with JAL to introduce 737-8s into its operations is the latest milestone in our longstanding relationship.”

Japan Airlines Boeing 737

Photo: KITTIKUN YOKSAP/Shutterstock

Per ch-aviation, Japan Airlines has a fleet of 43 Boeing 737-800 planes, which it flies on domestic as well as medium-haul international routes within Asia. The average age of these planes is a little over 13 years.

Adding to Boeing’s orders

The current deal with Japan Airlines adds to some other recent orders received by Boeing. Last week, Boeing confirmed a massive order from Saudi Arabian carriers worth almost $37 billion. The order was influenced by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment fund. Seventy-eight Boeing 787s were included as firm orders, and another 43 options were added.

Saudia Boeing 787-9

Photo: Markus Mainka I Shutterstock

The 78 aircraft will be split between Saudia and the recently announced Riyadh Air, which aims to have a network of more than 100 routes by the end of the decade. Saudia will receive 39 787-9s and -10s, and Riyadh Air will receive 39 787-9s, with options for ten and 33, respectively.

Air India, too, signed a letter of intent with Boeing for 220 aircraft in February, but the numbers do not show in Boeing’s order book as a deal has not been finalized. It includes 190 MAX aircraft, 20 787s, and ten 777Xs.

What are your views on this? Please leave a comment below.

  • Japan-Airlines-Q1-Loss-Falls
    The metrics are improving at Japan Airlines, albeit off a very low base. Photo: Vincenzo Pace/Simple Flying

    Japan Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Tokyo Haneda Airport, Tokyo Narita Airport

    Year Founded:


    Yuji Akasaka


  • 787-8 Dreamliner


    Stock Code:

    Business Type:

    Date Founded:

    Dave Calhoun

    Headquarters Location:
    Chicago, USA

    Key Product Lines:
    Boeing 737, Boeing 747, Boeing 757, Boeing 767, Boeing 777, Boeing 787

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