Malaysia Airlines has signed an MOU with Boeing to convert eight existing orders for the 737 MAX series to widebody 787-9s. The agreement also takes an additional eight purchase rights for 737 MAX 8s.

The deal includes Global Fleet Care service to maintain the Malaysia national carrier’s current and future Boeing aircraft.

“New widebody aircraft are a key to making Malaysia Airlines a premium airline offering a five-star product again, MD and CEO Peter Bellew said. “The extraordinary range of the 787-9 gives an ability to operate to any point in Europe and some USA destinations in the future from Kuala Lumpur.”

Bellew said the MOU on the Global Fleet Care program “will allow the two companies to build a world class MRO for the 737 MAX, 787 and 737NG based on Malaysia’s existing facilities in Kuala Lumpur.”

The Kuala Lumpur-based carrier operates more than 50 737NGs and has an additional 25 737 MAXs on order, including 10 for the new 737 MAX 10. The airline also operates 15 Airbus A330-300s, three A330-200 freighters and six A380s.

Alan Dron