MIAT - Mongolian Airlines (OM, Ulaanbaatar) has taken delivery of its first B737-8 following the handing over of EI-MNG (msn 43795) on Thursday, January 31. The twinjet was subsequently ferried from Seattle Boeing Field to Ulaanbaatar where it arrived on February 1.

The Mongolian carrier has a total of four B737 MAX 8 due from Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) with two on lease from Avolon and two from Air Lease Corporation. This Avolon jet will be followed by its sister ship in May of this year. The ALC jets are scheduled to deliver in October and early 2020 respectively.

MIAT has configured the jets with 12 seats in business class and 150 in economy. Schedule data at hand indicates the MAX will provisionally be deployed into revenue service from February 16 onwards on MIAT's Ulaanbataar-Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Thailand service. Thereafter, it will be used to run a one-off Berlin Tegel via Moscow Sheremetyevo service on March 17. Regular MAX flights to Moscow will start on July 2 with Osaka Kansai to follow later in the month.

MIAT is using the jets to renew and upgrade its fleet of one B737-700 (leased from Aircastle), three B737-800s (leased from each of ALC, Avolon, and Macquarie AirFinance), and two B767-300(ER)s (one leased from FTAI Aviation with the other recently acquired from ING Bank N.V). According to the Mongolian Ministry of Transport, two aircraft will come off lease during the course of 2019.