TUI fly becomes the first airline in Europe to operate passenger flight using the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. 

On February 17, 2021, TUI fly Belgium operated the first passenger flight on a Brussels-Malaga-Alicante-Brussels route. 

TUI fly Belgium flight TB1011 en route to Malaga Airport (AGP) took off from Brussels Airport (BRU) at 9:30am on February 17, 2021. According to the Brussels Airport website, the flight is carried out using the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft registered as OO-MAX.

“Following recent approvals from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Directorate General for Air Transport (DGTA) for the return of the Boeing 737 MAX to European air traffic, we are preparing to resume flights with our four planes of that type. Last week we already had a successful first flight without passengers on board and we plan to make our first commercial flights in the days and weeks to come,” said Sarah Saucin, a spokesperson for TUI Belgium.

TUI fly Belgium has four Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in its fleet. In March 2019, they were parked at Brussels Airport after the worldwide grounding following two deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

On January 27, 2021, EASA issued the final Airworthiness Directive (AD) to unground the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Europe.

Czech airline Smartwings will follow TUI Belgium as it plans to fly the MAX on a route from Prague (PRG) to Palma de Mallorca (PMI) in Spain on February 25, 2021.

On November 18, 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States became the first authority to recertify the Boeing 737 MAX. The EASA, Transport Canada (TC), Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have also recertified the Boeing 737 MAX, allowing it to resume commercial service again.

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The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has officially ungrounded the Boeing 737 MAX, ending the grounding in Europe.