Germany’s first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft has finally been delivered. Registered as D-AMAX, the already two-year-old aircraft was flown to new owners TUIfly Germany yesterday. The plane departed Seattle before douching down in Hannover late yesterday evening.
The return of the Boeing 737 MAX is slowly gathering pace around the world. Now, the aircraft has made its way to Germany, a country that had one of the strictest bans on the aircraft during its 20-month grounding. Unfortunately, it seems as though we shouldn’t expect the see the aircraft whizzing around the skies any time soon.
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D-AMAX took off from Boeing Field (BFI) in Seattle at 03:25, early on Tuesday morning. The aircraft quickly climbed to a cruising altitude of 41,000 feet for what could well be the longest flight it will operate. With flight number X3738, the aircraft flew to Hannover Airport (HAJ) in the north of Germany. It landed nine and a half hours later at 21:57 local time, according to RadarBox.com.
According to data from ch-aviation.com, D-AMAX took its first flight on February 25th, 2019. The plane was due to be delivered shortly after that. This all changed when the aircraft was progressively grounded worldwide following a fatal crash of the type in Ethiopia. An airline spokesperson told Simple Flying that the aircraft was about to fly to Germany, having been “basically delivered” when the type was grounded.
Until February 28th, 2021, the aircraft had clocked up just 14 hours of flight time in its first two years. Following a 56-minute test flight on June 5th, alongside yesterday’s delivery flight, the jet has not even doubled this, with around 24.5 hours under its belt.
It seems that its milage will remain low for the time being. A TUIfly spokesperson revealed to Simple Flying that,
“The plane will not be used right away. There is no entry-into-service date and no schedule foreseen.”
Germany’s strict MAX ban
The European Union issued an emergency airworthiness directive on March 12th, 2019, suspending flight operations with the Boeing 737 MAX. EASA did allow carriers to fly the jet without passengers to relocate their aircraft. This involved flying low and slow with the flaps deployed to disable to MCAS system.
Germany went one step further than EASA’s ban. While most of Europe continued to allow the type to be flown for relocation, Germany decided otherwise. The country implemented a complete ban of flights by the type in its airspace, accompanied by a NOTAM stating,
“Any flight with the types Boeing 737 MAX 8 and Boeing 837 MAX 9 within the airspace of the Federal Republic of Germany is prohibited”.
This led to TUI taking an interesting route to relocate one of its MAX aircraft from Bulgaria to the Netherlands, a flight that would usually go right through the middle of the European nation.
What do you make of Germany’s newest Boeing 737 MAX? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!