Seoul - On December 19, South Korean low-cost operator Eastar Jet took possession of the first of two Boeing 737 MAX 8 ordered. The second aircraft is expected by the end of the month.

Airline's new 737 MAX 8s are configured to accommodate 189 passengers and will join a fleet of one 737-700, nineteen 737-800 and two 737-900ER.

The Korean budget carrier will use its Boeing 737 MAX 8s to expand its existing network. The company will also use Boeing Global Services to improve its operations.

Eastar Jet started operations in 2007. The South Korean low-cost market has grown significantly since then and has become the largest market in Northeast Asia for cheap flights.

Over the past five years, the market segment has grown by more than 30% per year. With this growth and the introduction of the Boeing 737 MAX 8s into its fleet, the airline will be able to enter new markets such as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, among other future destinations.

Eastar Jet will also take delivery of four new Boeing 737-900ER in the coming years as part of its fleet modernization and network expansion.