China Eastern returns 737-800s to service after crash

China Eastern Airlines resumed its Boeing 737-800 flights nearly a month after one of the jets was involved in a fatal crash.

737-800s back in the air

On Sunday, China Eastern said it would put its Boeing 787-800s back into service for commercial flights after carrying out extensive safety checks. The 787s were grounded after one of them crashed in Guangxi last month, killing all 132 passengers. The cause of the accident is yet unknown, with the plane having dropped out of the sky at quite an extreme angle. Following the incident, China Eastern grounded all 223 of its Boeing 737s until it could be sure they were safe to fly.

A china eastern Boeing 737-800
One of China Eastern’s Boeing 737-800s | © Bloomberg

The airline says they have carried out systematic tests, structural checkups, and verified airworthiness data for each aircraft. Additionally, test flights will be carried out on all planes before they return to commercial service. The 787-800s with registrations close to the one that crashed are still being kept for maintenance checks and evaluation, the company, told Reuters in a statement. The registration of the aircraft involved in the incident was B-1791.

First flights

Yesterday saw some of the first 737-800 flights return to commercial service after almost a month on the ground. shows China Eastern flight MU5843 departing Kunming at 09:58 am local time on Sunday and landing in Chengdu at 11:03 am.  The 737-800 that operated the route is three years old and had completed a test flight the day before. Another Boeing 737-800 could be seen conducting a test flight in Shanghai early yesterday morning.

Both of the black boxes for the crashed plane have now been uncovered, and China has said it will submit a preliminary report on the incident to the ICAO by the 20th of April.

What are your thoughts on the safety of the Boeing 737-800? Let us know in the comments below!


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Josh McMinn
Josh McMinn
Jr Reporter - Josh is an Jr. Aviation Reporter at Travel Radar covering the latest industry news, developments and passenger experiences. Outside of reporting, Josh is a talented artist and camera operator with experience spanning several industries.


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