Boeing 737 MAX 9 Will Make South Pacific Journeys With Samoa Airways

Jan 21, 2019

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With the Lion Air 737 MAX crash still fresh on the mind of the aviation industry at large, a carrier based thousands of miles away from Boeing’s headquarters is planning to start flying a 737 MAX 9 of its own later this year.  Samoa Airways, the flag carrier airline of Samoa, will replace its lone jetliner (a 737-800) with a sparkling new 737 MAX 9. The aircraft will feature two CFM LEAP-1B27 engines and is scheduled to deliver in Spring 2019 from Air Lease Corporation.

Samoa Beach Island Palm Tree
You’ll soon be able to fly to Samoa’s picturesque beaches on a 737 MAX 9 (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

Matthew Stevens, Assistant Vice President of Air Lease Corporation, noted that this “will be the first new Boeing 737 MAX 9 in the South Pacific region and will operate a frequent schedule from Samoa to Australia and New Zealand.” Per a release from the carrier, the airplane will feature “the new Boeing Sky Interior, highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger overhead stowage bins.”

It’ll be configured with 16 business class seats and 173 seats in economy, and will operate between Apia, Auckland, Sydney and Brisbane. That’s a huge upgrade over the airline’s three other aircraft, De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otters, which hold 19 passengers in economy while making the brief jump between Samoa and American Samoa.

Rain falls in Samoa's To Sua Ocean Trench
Rain falls in Samoa’s To Sua Ocean Trench (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

Samoa Airways isn’t part of a larger alliance, so there aren’t any mileage earning/redeeming possibilities here. Based on our research, it doesn’t appear that the airline is marketing any of its long-haul international tickets as operating on the new aircraft, but we suspect transitions will occur shortly after delivery.

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Featured image courtesy of Samoa Airways.

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