The Brazilian carrier GOL Linhas Aereas might resume its domestic flights with its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft as soon as December 10. The South American airline expects to become the first commercial operator of the 737 MAX since its grounding in March 2019.
GOL’s eager to return the MAX to commercial service
Last week, the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) became the second international regulator to recertify the MAX. ANAC approved the MAX for commercial service less than a week after the US’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
GOL is the only MAX operator in Brazil, with a fleet of seven aircraft. It also has a standing order of 95 planes.
The Brazilian airline said that it expected to return its MAX fleet to commercial service within 30 days of ANAC’s reauthorization. It added,
“The company is working to guarantee the completion of all the technical and operational requirements, including pilot and cabin crew training.”
According to FlightRadar24.com, GOL has flown four Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the last few days. The airplanes’ registrations are PR-XMD, PR-XMC, PR-XMC, and PR-XMA.
The first three of these airplanes have only operated a few flights around Belo Horizonte. GOL is doing a few technical flights before bringing back its fleet to commercial service.
Meanwhile, PR-XMA made today two flights between Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte, in a PR stunt carrying journalists, according to several media outlets.
Where would GOL operate its MAX?
The Brazilian media outlet Aeroin said that GOL expects to operate 25 flights with the Boeing 737 MAX during December.
The Brazilian airline would mostly operate the MAX out of Guarulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo. It would fly to Rio de Janeiro, Natal, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Florianopolis, Goiania, Porto Alegre, and Salvador.
We don’t expect the MAX to operate international flights out of Brazil until March, at least. There are two reasons for this. The first is that GOL will not resume its international connectivity until March 2021. The second is that only the US and Brazil have recertified the MAX within their territories. Other countries, not only in Latin America but around the world, haven’t given the green light to the narrowbody.
What about Copa and Aeromexico?
Despite the lack of certainty, Copa Airlines already expects to resume MAX operations before the year ends. According to the Panamanian airline, it could fly two of its six MAX before December 31.
But, unlike GOL, where would Copa Airlines fly its MAX airplanes? So far, it can only deploy them to the US and Brazil.
In Mexico, Aeromexico has a fleet of six MAX airplanes grounded. The airline still has no certainty regarding Mexico’s authorization of the Boeing bestseller. In a statement to Simple Flying, it said that it hopes to have more clarity next week.
Finally, in Argentina, the State regulator hasn’t informed about the MAX recertification. Aerolíneas Argentinas has a fleet of five Boeing 737 MAX.
Will you fly the MAX? Let us know in the comments.