At 8:24 a.m. local time this Tuesday, December 9, the first commercial flight carried out in a Boeing 737 MAX took off from the San Pablo / Guarulhos airport bound for Porto Alegre after more than 20 months, ending the global grounding of the model after the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents.
The aircraft that was part of this historical event was GOL’s second-delivered MAX, registration PR-XMB (MSN 43897), which had been received by the company in August 2018. The flight had an 88 percent load factor, and landed at the Salgado Filho airport at 9:56 am local with no reported issues.
Being the first in the world to resume regular flights represented a great responsibility to the airline, which kept its aircraft in active preservation (implying a higher financial expense due to the necessity of repeated airworthiness tests) to be able to operate them as soon as possible.
The company expects to have its seven MAXs back in regular service by December 18. In January it will receive its eighth aircraft from the factory and will close 2021 with 17 units (GOL’s total tally is 95 MAX orders).
The airline had announced last week that it would inform passengers when their flights are operated with a MAX, and that if they felt unsafe, they could reschedule the trip without penalties.