Mauritania Airlines today announced an order for one 737 MAX 8 at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The order is valued at $112.4 million at list prices.

“The 737 MAX will complement our growing fleet and is the perfect aircraft for short to medium-haul operations across the Sahel region and Europe, feeding traffic into our hub airport at Nouakchott,” Mauritania Airlines CEO Mohamed Radhi Bennahi said. “This aircraft will play a major role in growing our business in the years to come.”

Boeing is anticipating further MAX orders from the Mauritanian flag carrier and this view was supported by one of the airline’s executive team.

“This is only our first MAX. The fleet will grow with our economy. We hope that over the next five years we will be operating with 10 aircraft [in total],” Mauritania Airlines International VP-maintenance and engineering El Hacen Deidi Chorfa said at a press briefing at the Paris Air Show.

He added that the new aircraft are scheduled for delivery by the end of 2017 and will be used to launch services to Paris early next year, followed by Jeddah in Saudi Arabia during the course of 2018.

Mauritania Airlines took delivery of a 737-800 in November 2016, joining its existing fleet of one 737-700, two 737-500s and a single Embraer ERJ-145.

The airline currently operates within Africa and to Spain, so these routes represent an important change to its network.

Victoria Moorea victoria.moores@penton.com