South Korea’s Jin Air Edges Closer To Taking Its First 737 MAX

With South Korea’s recent lifting of its 737 MAX ban, Korean Air’s low-cost subsidiary Jin Air will soon welcome a new aircraft: its first Boeing 737 MAX 8. The plane was picked up on flight tracking services on December 2nd, being ferried from Victorville, California, to Seattle Boeing Field in Washington after having paintwork completed. Let’s take a look at Boeing’s progress with this new aircraft.

Jin Air 737 MAX
Jin Air appears only to be taking one 737 MAX 8. The aircraft joins a fleet of 19 737-800s. Photo: Preston Fiedler

Sources suggest that although this is the only 737 MAX that is definitively going to be heading to Jin Air, as a subsidiary of Korean Air, it could take the rest of the original order. Korean Air ordered 30 737 MAXs as part of a multi-type deal in 2015, and has options for more of the narrowbody that can still be exercised in the future.

From Renton to Boeing Field

On December 2nd, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, being prepared for Korea’s Jin Air, made its way from Victorville (VCV) to Seattle Boeing Field (BFI). The aircraft registered HL8353, with MSN 63443 and Line Number 8158, has conducted three flights so far, for a total of just over seven hours of flight time.

As is standard for Boeing 737s today, the aircraft was assembled at the US planemaker’s facilities in Renton, Washington. The aircraft was spotted as early as October 31st in Renton. However, on November 10th, BOE Family Flights reports that the plane was flown from Renton (RNT) to Grant County International Airport (MWH), also known as Moses Lake. Making a rather short stop at Moses Lake, HL8353, then journeyed onward to  Boeing Field. This trip would see the aircraft take its first test flight while being repositioned to another company facility.

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From Boeing Field to Victorville and back

After spending nine days at Boeing Field, the aircraft took off again on November 19th, bound for Victorville. The two-hour flight to the Southern California airport was for the purposes of painting and having its livery applied.

Nearly two weeks later, the jet would return to Boeing Field for further delivery preparation. This December 2nd flight saw the aircraft depart VCV at 14:16 local and arrive at BFI at 16:27.

Jin Air 737 MAX
Tracking the 737 MAX 8’s latest flight after having its livery applied in California. Photo: FlightRadar24.com

Bound for Jin Air

With South Korea’s recent lifting of its ban on the 737 MAX, we can anticipate that Jin Air would be eager to welcome the new aircraft into its fleet.

Interestingly, information about Jin Air ordering the 737 MAX 8 is essentially non-existent. However, we do know that its parent company, Korean Air, finalized an order for 30 737 MAX jets in 2015. This was part of a deal that included two 777-300ERs.

While information from ch-aviation.com indicates that HL8353 will be configured with three classes, this is likely outdated information passed on from original Korean Air data. Indeed, as a low-cost carrier, Jin Air configures its 737s with a single class, all-economy layout. The airline’s 737-800s are all fitted with 189 economy seats.

Have you ever flown with Jin Air before? Share your experience with us by leaving a comment.

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