Charter and ACMI operator SmartLynx Airlines announced that it has signed an agreement to lease two Boeing 737 MAX 8 narrowbody aircraft.
The deal was signed with SMBC Aviation Capital, an Ireland-based leasing company.
“As SmartLynx Airlines continues to modernize its fleet, there’s no doubt that the Boeing 737 MAX 8 is the right aircraft for us, and we were pleased to work with SMBC to make it happen,” Smartlynx Airlines CEO Zygimantas Surintas said in a company press release.
These are the first Boeing aircraft to be added to SmartLynx’s fleet following the retirement of its Boeing 767-300 in 2009. Currently, the company operates Airbus A320, A321 and A330 aircraft, which are available for lease for both passenger and cargo flights in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
The 737 MAX constitutes a significant upgrade in terms of fleet age and performance for SmartLynx. According to Richardo Caver, Boeing’s vice president of commercial sales & marketing Europe, Israel & Turkey, the 737 MAX “will help SmartLynx’s customers reduce their operating costs by cutting fuel consumption and lowering noise and CO2 emissions”.
SmartLynx is one of several charter airlines to announce that it would be acquiring Boeing 737 MAX aircraft since the model’s ungrounding in 2020. Other operators include Ryanair subsidiary Buzz, as well as Polish charter airline Enter Air.
SmartLynx Airlines is a Latvia-based charter operator founded as LatCharter in 1992. It has subsidiaries in Estonia and Malta, and used to operate a wide range of aircraft, including Tupolev Tu-134 and Yakovlev yak-42, before opting for an all-Airbus fleet in 2010s.