On Monday, during a demonstration flight for the press, Gol Linhas Aéreas CEO Paulo Sérgio Kakinoff confirmed that the Boeing 737 MAX will return to service starting next Wednesday, December 9th.
Data from the Flight Radar 24 website reveal that the jet is scheduled for flight G3 4104, which departs at 8:20 am from Guarulhos Airport (Sao Paulo) to Porto Alegre. The company’s 737 MAX 8 also appear on flights between Sao Paulo and Confins, Curitiba, Florianópolis and Rio de Janeiro that same day.
Gol will be the first airline in the world to resume commercial flights with the Boeing aircraft, after months when it was banned from flying due to the two fatal accidents that occurred in 2018 and last year. A long and careful investigation by the FAA concluded that the aircraft had a support system for pilots with design errors, the MCAS.
Just last month, FAA lifted the flight ban in the US, which was followed by the Brazilian civil aviation agency (ANAC) days later. In Europe, EASA should not release the plane until January.
Since the release, Gol has started testing flights with its seven planes to check the changes required by regulatory agencies. In addition, the crew needed to receive training on the new procedures adopted.
The company’s intention is for the entire fleet to be active by December 18, the eve of Christmas week. By January 10, the Boeing jet should be available to take routes across the domestic network. According to the executive, of the 1,500 Gol pilots, 140 are now able to fly the 737 MAX.
Another 10 737 MAX in 2021
Last week, Kakinoff took part in a flight with employees and guests and has been visiting company areas to demonstrate that the jet is safe. According to the CEO of Gol, the company will again receive new 737 MAX planes from January and intends to end 2021 with 10 more units – there are currently 22 planes ready in the US. From the end of the year, the goal is to start receiving one aircraft per month.
Kakinoff also confirmed that the 737 MAX 10, the largest version ever developed of the Boeing, will be delivered in 2024. Despite the return to operation, the MAX should only take over international flights to the Miami and Orlando in March 2021. Until then, restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic prevent sufficient demand to resume these frequencies.