Fiji Airways has taken delivery of the last of five Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which it has on order. The latest delivery touched down in Nadi late on Sunday after a long journey across the Pacific Ocean from Boeing’s Seattle 737 facility.
The world’s fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft was grounded in March 2019, prompting Boeing to pause deliveries of the type. Late last year, the aircraft was recertified by the FAA and gradually more authorities around the world. This allowed the manufacturer to resume deliveries of the type, while airlines could resume flights with the type.
The last Fiji Airways delivery
Fiji Airways went into the 737 MAX grounding with just two aircraft. These were sent to Alice Springs for storage, where they remain today. However, the Fiji Airways fleet of MAXs is now five strong, thanks to Boeing’s final delivery of the type at the weekend.
The latest arrival in the Fiji Airways fleet is DQ-FAF. According to data from ch-aviation.com, the aircraft is already 1.79 years old. Having been firmly ordered by Fiji Airways in March 2017, the aircraft took its first flight on September 22nd, 2019.
According to data from RadarBox.com, the plane left Boeing Field in Seattle at 21:20 on Friday, July 2nd. The plane first flew for five and a quarter hours to Honolulu, landing at 23:36 to refuel. Following a break in Hawaii, the aircraft departed the next day at 16:08, landing in Nadi six and a half hours later at 20:43 on Sunday.
The aircraft has a total of 170 seats onboard. At the front of the cabin are eight business class seats in a 2-2 configuration. These have a pitch of 51 inches. Behind the small cabin is the main economy cabin with 162 seats in the standard narrowbody 3-3 configuration. These have 32 inches of pitch.
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The Fiji Airways fleet
As mentioned, Fiji Airways now has five Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, all listed as stored. The first two aircraft, DQ-FAB, and DQ-FAD arrived before the type’s grounding. They are in storage in Alice Springs, Australia. DQ-FAE and DQ-FAH both arrived with the airline back in late May. According to data from ch-aviation.com, all five of the aircraft are on lease from GECAS.
While the airline has resumed and now completed Boeing 737 MAX deliveries, it is yet to return the type to the skies. According to aviation data experts Cirium, the airline currently has no 737 MAX flights scheduled for the future.
The airline’s first MAX entered service in December 2018, with 39 flights scheduled that month. In January 2019, it had 154 scheduled flights, dropping to 144 in February and 110 in March. The airline was primarily using the aircraft to connect Fiji with Australia and New Zealand. However, flights were also scheduled to other nearby islands and Hawaii’s Honolulu.
When do you think Fiji Airways will resume Boeing 737 MAX flights? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!