Flydubai’s Boeing 737 Max jets are back in the air for the first time since they were banned from the skies about two years ago following two deadly crashes.
The budget carrier’s first Max commercial flight from Dubai International Airport successfully landed in Sialkot International Airport in Pakistan on Thursday. Four other 737 Max jets were scheduled to fly to Karachi, Multan and Tehran during the course of the day.
The worldwide fleet of 737 Max airplanes had been banned since March 2019 after a crash in Ethiopia that killed 346 people. A similar accident involving the same jet had occurred in Indonesia in 2018.
Flydubai has 14 Boeing 737 Max aircraft. So far, five have been cleared to fly by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
“With the return to service for the Boeing 737 Max today, this marks the end of 22 months of diligent work undertaken by the global community of regulators and the uncompromising efforts of the Flydubai team in preserving and returning the aircraft to passenger service,” Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of Flydubai, said in a statement sent to Zawya.
“Now is the time for our Max aircraft to fly once again.”
The remaining nine Max aircraft will be deployed later, with one jet scheduled to re-join every ten days.
Flydubai said the aircraft will “supplement and support the existing flight schedule” on its network of 76 destinations.
The budget carrier has gradually resumed international flights since the global COVID-19 lockdown last year.
The UAE's civil aviation regulator this year authorised the Max aircraft to return to the skies, following earlier decisions by authorities in other jurisdictions like the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.
(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)
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© ZAWYA 2021