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Boeing 737Max makes comeback

With a China Southern flight, Boeing 737 MAX makes its official comeback to China.

As soon as the Boeing 737 MAX was eventually ungrounded after nearly three years, China Southern Airlines became the first airline in China to fly one commercially.

On January 13, 2023, the airline ran Flight CZ3960 from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) to Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport (CGO). At 12:45 PM local time (UTC +8), the Boeing 737 MAX departed the departure airport and traveled to CGO. It then returned to CAN. At 6:02 PM local time (UTC +8), the B-1206-registered aircraft touched down at CAN.

On January 13, 2022, a second China Southern Airlines 737 MAX with the registration number B-1127 made a roundtrip flight from Guangzhou to Wuhan Tianhe International Airport (WUH). It departed from Guangzhou at 2:26 PM local time (UTC +8) and arrived at WUH at 3:00 PM local time (UTC +8).

On January 11, 2022, the airline’s mobile application revealed flights scheduled to be run with the model, sparking rumors regarding the Boeing 737 MAX’s return to China. The aircraft had not yet been de-grounded, though, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

Following the second deadly crash of the narrow-body aircraft in six months, the Chinese regulator became the first to halt the 737 MAX in March 2019. A total of 346 individuals were killed in the accidents in Ethiopia and Indonesia.

The 737 MAX is listed as a scheduled flight on China Southern Airlines’ mobile app, potentially pointing to the type’s reintroduction to service in China.

The only government that has still at least partially grounded the aircraft is Russia. Airlines from the so-called “friendly countries” have been permitted to use the Boeing 737 MAX domestically beginning July 2022.

The first airline to enter Russian airspace with the type was Belavia, the national carrier of Belarus. S7 Airlines was the sole carrier with the infamous aircraft in its fleet; it had two 737 MAXs. ALC (the lessor) will receive the other back on October 12, 2022, whereas one was retired in March 2019 and the other was handed over in March 2019. Since then, according to information from, it has been kept in storage at Istanbul Ataturk Airport (ISL).

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