Featured Image Courtesy of Boeing. Source: http://www.boeing.com/commercial/customers/aerolineas-argentinas/
On November 23, 2017, Aerolineas Argentinas, the flag carrier of Argentina, became the first South American airline to operate the Boeing 737 MAX family of aircraft. The airline took delivery of a Boeing 737 MAX 8, registered LV-GVD, in Buenos Aires' Ezeiza airport after a delivery flight from Boeing's 737 factory in Renton, Washington via Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This aircraft is currently being leased from Avolon, and is expected to enter revenue service with the airline next month. In a surprising move, the new 737 MAX 8 aircraft in Aerolineas Argentinas' fleet is expected to replace the airline's aging A340s, some of which are relegated to operating regional routes. According to the airline's CEO, Mario Dell' Acqua, the Boeing 737 MAX "will give our [Aerolineas Argentinas] operation a 25 percent direct increase in efficiency. We will be able to reach regional destinations with a single-aisle aircraft, maximizing the cost-benefit equation for those routes."
Recently, the market trend has begun growing towards using smaller aircraft on routes that don't see as much demand as routes operated by widebody aircraft. Many airlines, such as Norwegian, a low-cost European airline, have begun using Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on routes from Europe to secondary airports in the Northeastern United States, such as Hartford (BDL) and Providence (PVD). With the introduction of smaller, more fuel efficient aircraft, airlines have begun moving away from the "hub and spoke" model (where travellers would connect in a hub en route to their destination), instead offering as many direct flights as possible.
The new Boeing 737 MAX 8 sports the fuel-sipping CFM LEAP-1B engine, and is fitted with "Advanced Technology" Winglets, several other aerodynamic enhancements, and the signature Boeing Sky Interior. It directly competes with the Airbus A320neo, currently the fastest-selling jetliner of all time. To date, Boeing has received over 4,000 orders for 737 MAX family aircraft, with more than 30 delivered as of November 2017.