Boeing 737 Max returns to passenger service in Europe

OO-MAX prior to the grounding in 2018. Photo: © TUI Group

On Wednesday, February 17th, TUI fly Belgium became the first airline to resume passenger flights with the Boeing 737 Max in Europe.

Europe’s first commercial 737 Max flight since the beginning of the global grounding almost two years ago, took off at around 9:40 am local time from Brussels Airport, heading to Malaga in Spain. It was operated by TUI Belgium’s first 737 Max 8, registered as OO-MAX.

Following two fatal cashes, the Boeing 737 Max aircraft family was banned from flying around the world in March 2019. After the type received significant safety improvements from its manufacturer Boeing, it was re-certified to fly in the United States by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in November 2020. Europe’s EASA and the UK’s CAA followed with their approvals in January 2021.

In December last year, Brazilian airline GOL became the world’s first airline to return its 737 Max to commercial service.