FRIDAY MAY 17, 2024
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Boeing's 737 MAX Returns to Service On 11 Chinese Airlines

Boeing's 737 MAX Returns to Service On 11 Chinese Airlines


Boeing's plans to expand its operations in China are off to a good start. The 737 MAX has returned to service on 11 airlines in the world's second-largest aviation market.


Photo: Thomas Tse | AeroXplorer


There are now 43 737 MAX planes in operation, making up around 45% of the country's entire fleet. Although Boeing did not mention the specific airlines that are using the planes, several carriers have used 737 MAX aircraft on flights in recent months. The airlines include Hainan Airlines, Fuzhou Airlines, Lucky Air, and Air China.




This event is good timing for Boeing as it seeks to return the 737 MAX aircraft to service after making several changes to the aircraft and pilot training. Modifications were required after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia forced the cancellation of the 737 MAX service worldwide from March 2019 to late 2020. In China, the changes included updating a flight training device at the Shanghai Flight Training Campus to assist with training pilots. Foreign airlines started using the 737 MAX on flights to China in October 2022. The first domestic passenger flight in almost four years to use the 737 MAX was a China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou to Zhengzhou this past January.


Photo: Ricardo Mungarro | AeroXplorer


Flights in China are becoming more frequent as travel demand returns after strict COVID-19 policies were abandoned in December. According to Boeing China's president Sherry Carbary, "The move reaffirms our commitment to our civil aircraft customers in China. The equipment upgrade allows us to further enhance our support for Chinese 737 MAX customers as they expand the aircraft's operations in and around China".


In recent years, Boeing has found it more difficult to operate in China amid ongoing trade tensions with the US. China was the last major market to return the 737 MAX to service. The weak relationship with the US has encouraged China to look to other companies for aircraft.




The country recently signed a deal with Airbus that would see the company launch a new assembly line in Tianjin. In addition, China is developing its own domestic planes like the COMAC C919, which could compete against the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 in the future.


Photo: Thomas Tse | AeroXplorer


The aviation market in China is expected to become very competitive in the coming years.

George Mwangi
Aviation writer based in Washington, DC. Visited 21 countries on thousands of miles of flights.

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