A MIAT Boeing 737 MAX has landed in China from Mongolia, representing the first commercial MAX flight on the Mainland since the aircraft was grounded in 2019.
MIAT Operates First Boeing 737 MAX Flight To China Since 2019
MIAT Mongolian Airlines operated a Boeing 737 MAX 8 under OM235 from Ulaanbaatar (ULN) to Guangzhou (CAN) on Monday, October 10, 2022.
After a pair of crashes grounded all MAX jets globally in March 2019, regulators in most nations have cleared the aircraft to fly again. Two notable exceptions are China and Russia.
In fact, the delay has been so long in China that Boeing has begun re-selling some aircraft built for Chinese customers due to the delayed recertification.
Neither Boeing nor Chinese authorities commented on the flight, but news of a 737 MAX flying commercially to China sent Boeing shares rising. There has been no official announcement concerning the recertification of the MAX 8, meaning it is an open question whether MIAT actually had permission to operate that aircraft type on its route. Typically, the Mongolian flag carrier utilizes a 737-800 or 767-300 on the route.
MIAT leases five 737 MAX 7 aircraft and EI-MNG, the aircraft which operated OM235, has 162 seats onboard, including 12 in business class and 150 in economy class.
China, meanwhile, has given signs that re-certification is nearing. Air China conducted local test flights in August and Simple Flying reports that Boeing’s Zhousan plant in the eastern province of Zhejiang is ready for MAX deliveries to resume.
It’s a promising sign that a commercial 737 MAX has operated within Chinese airspace, though it is not clear yet if this was a mistake of some kind or whether it represents a loosening in policy. OM235 is not a daily flight, so it is not clear if this aircraft will be a regular feature going forward.
image: Anna Zvereva