MIAT - Mongolian Airlines (OM, Ulaanbaatar) has taken delivery of its first B787-9 on lease from AerCap and immediately deployed it into revenue service.

EI-MGL (msn 60326) is a 2019-build initially delivered to Suparna Airlines (Y8, Shanghai Hongqiao). It was retired by the Chinese carrier in mid-2022 and subsequently stored at Shanghai Pudong. It underwent maintenance at Haikou over the recent months and was ferried to Ulaanbaatar International on August 11. It entered revenue service the next day, with its first flight to Seoul Incheon.

The B787-9 is configured for up to 292 passengers, including 30 in business class, 36 in economy plus, and 226 in economy. It will be followed by sistership B-208C (msn 60322), also ex-Suparna Airlines, due for delivery in early 2024.

MIAT said the aircraft would be used on services to Seoul, Frankfurt International, and Istanbul Airport and will also be used to launch flights to the United States in the first half of 2024. Mongolia and the US finalised an open skies agreement in January 2023 and formally signed it on August 3. However, Mongolia has yet to secure FAA International Aviation Safety Assessment Category 1 status, which is necessary for direct flights to the US.

The first B787-9 will replace the B767-300ER wet-leased from Omni Air International (OY, Tulsa International), while the second one will replace the airline's only existing in-house B767-300ER.

The state-owned Mongolian flag carrier initially planned to dry-lease two B787-9s from Air Lease Corporation. The contract signed in 2019 was quietly cancelled in 2021 due to delays exceeding 12 months.