Astana - Kazakh low-cost operator SCAT Airlines has just received the first of its six Boeing 737 MAX 8s, which makes the airline the first operator of the type in Central Asia.

Based in Chimkent in southern Kazakhstan, SCAT Airlines currently operates a fleet of 18 aircraft including one Boeing 767-300, four 757-200, three 737-300, three 737-500 and six Bombardier CRJ200.

The introduction of the 737 MAX will not only increase the level of customer service but will also give a new impetus to the development of air transport in Kazakhstan,
said Vladimir Denisov in a statement, the president of SCAT Airlines.

The airline placed an order for six 737 MAX 8, with options for five additional aircraft just a few months ago at the Dubai Air Show in November 2017.

The company said that the new-generation single-aisle was well suited to its strategy as it expands its network to Europe, Russia, and the Far East.

SCAT Airlines, one of Kazakhstan's leading airlines, celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017. The network now covers several destinations in Kazakhstan, including Almaty and Astana, as well as China, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Russia, and Ukraine.

This week, Boeing delivered the 100th 737 MAX to Air Canada, less than a year after the first copy.