China Southern Airlines plans to return to service at least two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft as early as this week.
Recall that the Civil Aviation Administration of China in October 2022 declared the aircraft safe to fly after a long ban on this type. Friday departures will be the first passenger flights for the Chinese 737 MAX since March 2019.
China Southern Airlines intends to use two aircraft on Friday, January 13 for the time being. Flights are scheduled between Guangzhou Baiyun (CAN) and Zhengzhou Xinzheng (CGO), as well as Guangzhou Baiyun and Wuhan Tianhe Airport (WUH). China Southern planned to start Boeing 737 MAX flights in October, but unexpectedly canceled flights on the day of departure.
The first flight on a Boeing 737–8 with tail number CZ 3960 will depart Guangzhou at 12:25. The aircraft will arrive at Terminal 2 of Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport after a two-and-a-half-hour flight and then depart at 15:55 for the return flight (CZ 3393) to land back in Guangzhou at 18:20.
Second Boeing scheduled for the notorious city of Wuhan in Central China. The flight departs Guangzhou at 14:00 and the flight will last approximately two hours. In an hour and a half, the plane will fly back to Guangzhou.
The Boeing 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 following the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia and has only recently returned to active service around the world. Thus, foreign airlines have been operating this type of aircraft in China since October 2022.
Aviation safety agencies around the world began decommissioning the Boeing 737 MAX in late 2020 and early 2021. China and Russia are the latest major countries to recertify aircraft. Last year, the first 737 MAX to enter Chinese airspace was a MIAT Mongolian Airlines flight from Ulaanbaatar. It landed in Guangzhou on October 10.
In total, Chinese airlines had 97 aircraft of this type before the cessation of flights in 2019. Late last year, Guangzhou-based China Southern retired 3 of its 24 Boeing 737–8s at the end of last year. But all October flights were canceled on the day of departure, raising questions about the type's future in the country. Meanwhile, Chinese airlines continued to place orders with Airbus and the domestic COMAC C919, which received 300 new orders at the recent Zhuhai Air Show.
China Southern Airlines is currently China's largest operator of the Boeing 737 MAX, having 24 aircraft of this type in its fleet. Air China, another carrier, owns 16 Maxes, while China Eastern Airlines — three.
Boeing currently has 137 more planes in the United States, made for Chinese carriers and waiting for delivery, but the latter are in no hurry to buy them. TURIZM.EN< /p>