June 28, 2022

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China Southern Airlines plans to drop Boeing 737 Max aircraft from fleet

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China Southern Airlines is one of the biggest customers of Boeing but as per the reports, they have dropped the plans for including more than 100 B737 MAX jets in the fleet for 2024.

China Southern Airlines has dropped more than 100 B737 MAX jets from its fleet plans, based on the reports by Bloomberg. The new step by the airlines might be an indication of Boeing’s uncertain future in China, with aircraft being left out of the airlines’ fleet plan through 2024.  China Southern Chairman Ma Xulun told investors last week that the airline plans to receive 30 aircraft in 2022, 36 in 2023, and 12 in 2024, excluding the MAX. The airline said in its 2021 Annual Results, released on March 30 that it planned to add 181 new aircraft between now and 2024, including 103 Boeing B737 MAX.

China Southern, Boeing’s largest airline customer in China, has taken a step back in its intentions to purchase 39 B737 MAX 8 aircraft this year, just weeks after announcing them. However, China Southern left the MAX out of their projection but made no mention of cancellations.

Around 140 B737 MAX aeroplanes are awaiting delivery to Chinese customers, but it’s unlikely that many of them will be delivered very soon. China Southern already has over a third of its fleet on the inactive list, so it will take its time adding to its parking lot.

This appears to be the problem with the 737 MAX in China. The Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) issued an airworthiness order in December 2021, stating that the 737 MAX can resume flight if all hardware and software changes have been implemented and pilots have been retrained on the revised systems.

China Southern has a fleet of 645 aircraft, with 375 Airbus and 270 Boeing aircraft, according to ch-aviation.com. China Southern’s narrowbody fleet consists of 313 Airbus A320 family aircraft and 212 Boeing B737 aircraft.

 

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