Boeing delivers first B737 MAX

first_imgPhoto: Boeing US planemaker Boeing has overcome the engine problems which threatened to derail its 737 MAX delivery schedule to hand over the first plane to launch customer Malindo Air.The B737 MAX 8 was handed over to the Malaysian full-service carrier at the manufacturer’s delivery centre in Seattle On Tuesday.Boeing issued a brief statement on the landmark event which failed to mention engine manufacturing problems that led to the entire Boeing 737 MAX fleet being grounded briefly last week.Malindo is a joint venture involving Indonesia’s Lion Air Group and Malaysia’s National Aerospace and Defence Industries.It began flying in 2013 and has expanded to operate a network of scheduled passenger services throughout Malaysia as well as to regional destinations in Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Singapore, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Australia and Pakistan.The leased plane is in Batik Air Malaysia livery ahead of the airline’s rebranding in the second half of this year. The plan is for Batik Air Malaysia to focus on international routes and provide Indonesian sibling Batik Airways with regional feeder trafficMalindo Air chief executive Chandran Rama Muthy said the airline’s fleet of Boeing 737NGs had served the carrier well and he believed the MAX would become the centrepiece of its fleet.“These new aircraft will allow us to go to further destinations and will play a key role in providing lower air fares to our customers,’’ he said.The engine manufacturing problem at a CFM contractor is seen as a minor glitch in a program that has run remarkably smoothly for the fastest selling passenger jet in Boeing’s history.US Media reports say about 30 LEAP 1B engines have been sent back to manufacturer CFM International for inspections because of concerns a manufacturing defect in a low-pressure turbine disc could lead to cracks.The US Federal Aviation Administration last week cleared aircraft fitted with the unaffected engines and Boeing has since confirmed that the 737 MAX  has resumed all flying activities.“Regulatory authorities have granted CFM and Boeing approval to begin the full range of business, test and certification-related flight activities,’’ the manufacturer told AirlineRatings. Boeing has received almost 3700 orders for the latest iterations of its single-aisle workhorse from 87 customers around the world.The debut of the MAX comes after its competitor, The Airbus A320neo, has been in service since early 2016.The 320neo has also had problems with one of its engine options, the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan,  although its CFM LEAP-1A engines were unaffected by the problem seen with Boeing’s LEAP-1Bs.last_img

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