GOL Linhas Aereas, a Brazilian low-cost carrier, became the first airline in the world to return the ungrounded Boeing 737 MAX to commercial service.
On December 9, 2020, GOL completed the very first passenger flight with its Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The airline‘s plane, registered as PR-XMB, took off from Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) at 8:20 a.m (UTC) and after more than an hour landed at Salgado Filho International Airport (POA).
The domestic flight made the Brazilian air carrier the first airline in the world to resume passenger flights with the Boeing 737 MAX jet since its grounding in March 2019.
Earlier in December 2020, GOL announced its plans to prepare all of its 737 MAX fleet, consisting of seven Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, for commercial flight operations by the end of 2020. The airline also expected to add the MAX 8 in its flight schedules regarding operational needs.
638 days after the #737MAX last carried paying passengers and the fleet was grounded worldwide, @VoeGOLoficial becomes the first airline to return the aircraft to commercial service with #G34104. Follow live: https://t.co/URsnSMMZga pic.twitter.com/WGDJvoPFvr— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) December 9, 2020
According to the Boeing order book, GOL still waits for 17 Boeing 737 MAX 8 to be delivered to the air carrier, while four of them under the lease agreements with lessors GECAS and Avolon.
The first passenger flight with Boeing 737 MAX follows the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency’s (ANAC) decision to reauthorize the operation of grounded aircraft in Brazilian airspace on November 25, 2020. The MAX’s reactivation process in Brazil took more than one and a half years. The Brazilian regulator became the second authority in the world after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States, which ungrounded the Boeing 737 MAX on November 18, 2020. The aircraft returns to passenger service after 20 months of grounding.