The first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft bound for Ryanair’s subsidiary Malta Air have been spotted leaving the production line in Renton, Washington. The aircraft form part of the Ryanair Group’s firm orders for 210 737 MAX aircraft due to be delivered to the low-cost carrier over the coming years.
The ungrounding of the Boeing 737 MAX is seriously gathering pace with operators flying the type on at least four continents. The aircraft’s recertification also saw a spike in orders, moving Boeing back to net positive orders. This included an order from Ryanair at the start of December.
Malta Air’s First MAXs spotted
In exciting news for fans of Ryanair and the 737 MAX, the first completed fuselages destined for Malta Air have been spotted. The aircraft, with the line numbers 8003 and 8019, are yet to receive their liveries. However, they can be identified as bound for Malta Air from their preprinted rudders and split wingtips.
The 2nd #737MAX for Malta Air rolled out of final assembly.
8019 737-8 200 Malta Air pic.twitter.com/nL6g0fVEoW
— Woodys Aeroimages (@AeroimagesChris) March 21, 2021
The two fuselages were spotted by Twitter’s @AeroimagesChris who goes by Woody’s Aeroimages. They previously spotted that the first wingtips for the aircraft had arrived at the factory to undergo the process of final assembly around two months ago.
Why Malta Air?
You may be wondering who Malta Air is, or why Ryanair is going to the trouble of apply its livery to planes. Malta Air is a subsidiary of Ryanair, within the Ryanair Group. The airline operates out of several EU bases including the likes of Cologne and Frankfurt with aircraft registered on the 9H Maltese aircraft registry.
The airline’s existing Boeing 737s have all come from parent company Ryanair, where they were delivered in the LCC’s livery. Because the Ryanair group operates on the low-cost model, it doesn’t make sense to pay to repaint aircraft from a financial point of view unless absolutely necessary. After all, it is an unnecessary expense.
However, an opportunity has been created with the delivery of new aircraft. These planes have to be painted anyway, so cost wise it makes no difference to Ryanair and its subsidiaries what paint scheme is applied.
As such, it’s not just the Ryanair and Malta Air liveries that will be applied to the MAX. These new planes will also feature the fascinating Buzz livery of the group’s Polish subsidiary. Only one roadblock remains before Ryanair takes its first MAX aircraft. The -8200 ordered by Ryanair has separate certification requirements due to an additional emergency exit. Once this hurdle is cleared, the Irish LCC is expected to rapidly deploy its new MAX aircraft.
What do you make of the Malta Air livery? Are you excited to see it in the skies above Europe? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!