Delivery of Boeing 737 MAX to China Southern Airlines ends near 5-year freeze
Published: Jan 28, 2024 08:41 PM
A Boeing 737 Max jet Photo: IC

A Boeing 737 Max jet Photo: IC

A Boeing 737 MAX flying from Seattle arrived at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in South China's Guangdong Province on Saturday, flight information provider VariFlight revealed on Saturday. Information shared with the Global Times showed that the plane, operating under the number CZ5073, has joined the China Southern Airlines fleet.

The delivery ended a freeze of nearly five years, after China suspended most orders and deliveries of Boeing planes in 2019 following two fatal crashes of the 737 MAX in other countries.

The delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX comes at a moment when the US plane manufacturer is in turmoil.

Reuters reported that the US Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday tightened pressure on Boeing by barring the troubled planemaker from expanding production of its best-selling 737 MAX narrow-body planes, following "unacceptable" quality issues.

The delivery of aircraft to customers in China is probably the result of previous orders, Wang Ya'nan, chief editor of Beijing-based Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Since the company is under the shadow of these troubles and its shares have taken a heavy hit, the delivery of planes that generate cash flow is positive for Boeing, Wang said.

Regarding the delivery of the MAX series in China, China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that the Boeing 737 MAX8 model had met the delivery requirements set by Chinese regulators as of December 8, 2023.

Before the delivery of the MAX, a 787-9 Dreamliner ordered by Juneyao Airlines was delivered in December last year. It was the first time since November 2019 that Boeing had delivered a 787 Dreamliner plane to a Chinese airline.

With problems highlighted by the mid-flight blowout of a door plug on an Alaska Airlines flight earlier in January, the US aircraft manufacturer's shares have dropped more than 21 percent in the past month.

Alaska Airlines on Friday announced the plan to return 737 MAX 9 jets to service for the first time since the accident on January 5.

All Boeing 737 MAX jets operated by Chinese carriers were back in service at the end of 2023, the US planemaker's China head said in December.

China's home-developed C919 aircraft has also geared up for service in China. China Eastern Airlines said on Saturday that all the C919 aircraft it received will be used during the Chinese New Year's travel rush.