Which airlines will fly Boeing 737 MAX?
An aircraft that has turned from a gamechanger to a troublemaker is set to once again change the game of aviation economics. As safety authorities across the globe clear the 737 MAX to operate commercial flights once again, who are the airlines that will fly customers onboard the aircraft?
Overall, Boeing delivered 387 jets before it was grounded in March 2019, following the second fatal accident in Ethiopia, when an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX crashed near Addis Ababa. The airline with the most MAXs grounded was Southwest Airlines (LUV), while three carriers split the title of second-largest 737 MAX fleet, namely Air Canada (ADH2), American Airlines (A1G) (AAL), China Southern Airlines (ZNH) with 24 aircraft each.
Split by continent, flyers in Central and North America can expect to see the most already-delivered Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The second-largest diaspora of 737 MAXs is located in Asia, where out of the 119 total delivered aircraft, 82 are located in China.
Incidentally, China was the first aviation authority to ground the aircraft after the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crash, not allowing 21% of the global Boeing 737 MAX fleet to fly commercially instantly.
Built, yet not delivered 737 MAX
Despite the grounding in March 2019, Boeing kept producing the aircraft as the manufacturer hoped to quickly turn the corner and the 737 MAX to return to service in a few months’ time. However, the few months turned into a saga that has now entered its 20th month. The manufacturer kept producing jets from March 2019 until January 2020, when the production in Renton, Washington, United States was paused.
In May 2020, production resumed once again and so far Boeing had to store 395 aircraft as it was unable to deliver them to customers. But which airline has the largest backlog of undelivered jets?
All in all, which airlines have the largest fleets of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, including undelivered yet built units?