Commercial flights with Boeing 737 MAX airliners resumed on Wednesday for the first time since being grounded around the world following two fatal crashes.
Commercial flights with Boeing 737 MAX airliners resumed Wednesday for the first time since they were grounded around the world following two fatal crashes almost two years ago.
Brazilian Gol Airlines has become the first in the world to return planes to its active fleet, using a 737 MAX 8 on a flight from Sao Paulo to Porto Alegre, according to flightradar24.com.
The company’s own announcement did not specify the flight route.
Gol is expected to start scheduled service on December 18, according to aeronautical data company Cirium, with several daily flights between São Paulo and other major Brazilian cities.
Customers will be able to redeem their tickets if they do not wish to fly on a 737 MAX, a spokesperson for Gol told the Associated Press in an email.
Gol, the country’s largest airline with 36 million passengers per year, has seven 737 MAXs, according to Cirium. It is the only Brazilian company with the model in its fleet.
The Boeing plane was grounded around the world in March 2019, shortly after a 737 MAX crashed in Ethiopia. A previous accident in Indonesia involving the model occurred in October 2018. In all, 346 people died.
Brazil’s aviation regulator lifted restrictions on the 737 MAX in November, paving the way for the plane’s resumption of flights in Latin America’s largest country.
Similar restrictions have been lifted in the United States and Europe, where commercial airline flights with the plane are expected to resume soon, likely from American Airlines on December 29.
“The MAX is one of the most efficient aircraft in aviation history and the only one to undergo a full recertification process,” Gol chief executive Paulo Kakinoff said in a statement earlier this week. .