On Saturday, China Southern Airlines canceled the return of the Boeing 737-MAX jet to Chinese airspace by a Chinese airline. The airline canceled all scheduled flights that were slated to be serviced by the MAX within China this weekend. It is unclear whether the cancellation is permanent or temporary.
Before the two accidents, the Boeing 737-MAX was touted as a revolutionary aircraft that would enable airlines maximize profits due to its fuel efficiency capability. It is this anticipation that motivated China Southern Airlines to order a total of 181 Boeing 737-MAX aircraft. Of these jets, only 24 MAX-8s have ever been delivered to the airline as of October 2022.
China Southern Airlines has been flying test flights for the MAX for the past few weeks now. Most people believed this was in anticipation of soon to commence commercial flights using this aircraft type.
As of Friday October 28, China Southern flight booking website showed various flights available for booking using the MAX. The flights were mainly from Guangzhou, Baiyun International Airport to Wuhan. A similar flight using the MAX was also scheduled to originate from Guangzhou, Baiyun Airport to Zhengzhou.
But as of 18:00 MST, all flights scheduled to use the Boeing 737-MAX aircraft have been scrapped from all China Southern Airlines booking sites.
Quiet Boycott of the MAX By Chinese Carriers.
Despite the fact that the Boeing 737-MAX is permitted to fly in the Chinse airspace, no Chinese carrier has ever flown commercially this aircraft type since the government banned the jet after the two deadly accidents. This is despite the fact that Chinese carriers had the MAX on their fleet before their suspension. For example, China Southern has 24 MAX jets, Air China has 16, China Eastern has 3 and Hainan Airlines has 11. Passengers as well as aviation enthusiasts around the world are waiting to see the return of the MAX to regular flights in China.
Only Airline To Operate the MAX In China
On October 10, MIAT Mongolia Airlines became the only airline to ever fly a commercial flight using the MAX in Chinese airspace since the aircraft was banned in the country in 2019. The flight in question was servicing flight OM235 which originated from Ulaanbaatar’s Chinggis Khaan International Airport (UBN). The Mongolian Airlines MAX jet made its final destination at Guangzhou’s Baiyun International Airport in China.
The total flight time of flight OM235 was three hours and 38 minutes. Surprisingly, Flightradar 24 shows that flight OM235 is normally serviced using the Boeing 737-NG models. So it is strange that the MAX was used this time round.