The new aircraft registered as ETAWJ, departed Boeing’s facility in Seattle on June 30 and flew to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with a stopover in Manchester, U.K. Delivery to its final destination took place earlier this month on July 2.
The airline currently has five Boeing 737Maxs in its fleet. This delivery follows the airline’s decision to return the aircraft type to its scheduled flight operations.
Ethiopian Airlines has an order for 25 more Boeing 737 MAX8s. Further deliveries are expected later this year, according to the airline.
“Its active fleet includes four aircraft configured with 16 seats in Business class and 144 in Economy class. They returned to service in February 2022 after recertification by the FAA, EASA in Europe, Transport Canada, CAAC, ECAA and other regulatory bodies, but also after said aircraft was returned to service by more than 34 airlines worldwide,” said former CEO Tewolde GebreMariam. “We took enough time to monitor the design change work as well as the rigorous 20-month recertification process.”
Industry-wide Return of the 737 Max
Since the return to service of the Boeing 737 MAX in December 2020, 190 countries around the world have re-approved it, 41 airlines are flying it and nearly 600 planes are in the air. In Africa, Ethiopian Airlines is the largest operator of the 737 MAX.
Last year, the airline indicated that it had finally reached an amicable settlement with the American aircraft manufacturer over the fatal accident of flight 302 (ET-AVJ, MSN 62450), which killed 157 people. The final report of the said accident is still awaited.
Boeing reported the delivery as part of its June orders and delivery report. Overall, it was also the busiest month for 737 Max deliveries, since the grounding ended in late 2020, with 43 of the planes being delivered to customers. It was also the busiest month for any kind of commercial plane deliveries by Boeing since March of 2019, with a total of 51 deliveries.
It is a sign that demand for the plane is returning to pre-crash levels. Up to this point, Boeing has delivered 443 of the 737 Max jets since the grounding ended, with 181 of those being delivered so far this year, up from 105 delivered in the first half of 2021.
Boeing has faced myriad problems in recent years — beyond the drop in demand for passenger planes that occurred during the pandemic. It is still waiting for approval to again begin delivering the 787 Dreamliner widebody passenger planes that have been halted due to quality control issues.
Deliveries are crucial to Boeing’s operations and commerce, as it gets most of the money from airline sales at the time of delivery.