RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Commercial flights with Boeing 737 Max Jetliners resumed on Wednesday for the first time since they landed worldwide nearly two years ago following two fatal accidents.
Brazil’s Goal Airlines became the first in the world to return aircraft to its active fleet, using the 7 737 Max using a flight from Sao Paulo to Porto Alegre.
The company’s own announcement did not specify the route of the flight.
With several daily flights between Sઓo Paulo and other major Brazilian cities, the goal will begin regular service on December 18, according to aviation data firm Cerium.
A goal spokesperson said in an email to the Associated Press that customers would be able to exchange their tickets if they did not want to fly the 7 737 Max.
At Sao Paulo’s Guaruhohos Airport some passengers were surprised to learn that they had boarded a 737 Maxx plane, although it is marked on their ticket. Others were awake.
“I was a little scared but my husband is a pilot, so I asked him. He said he was fine, “said Luclin Joachim, who texted his mother before takeoff. “If anything happens, please take care of my dogs!” She joked.
According to Serium, the country’s largest airline with seven million 36 million passengers annually owns seven 7,737 maximum aircraft. It is the only company in Brazil with a model in its fleet.
The Boeing plane was grounded globally in March 2019, shortly after the 737 Max crashed in Ethiopia. The previous crash in Indonesia associated with Indonesia Dello took place in October 2018. In all, 346 people died.
Boeing said it would upgrade the aircraft’s security systems and software before getting the flight approved again.
Brazil’s aviation regulator lifted the ban on the 737 Max in November, clearing the way for a resumption of flights for the aircraft in Latin America’s largest country.
Similar restrictions have been lifted in the US and Europe, where commercial airline flights with aircraft are likely to resume soon, possibly. It is expected to launch on December 29 with American Airlines.
“Max Aviation is the most efficient aircraft in history and the only aircraft to go through a complete overhaul,” Paulo Kakinof, Goal’s chief executive officer, said in a statement earlier this week.
AP journalist David Conning contributed to this report from Dallas.
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