Malaysia Airlines' first B737 MAX 8 aircraft on its way to Malaysia, welcomes 7th A350-900

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines Bhd will finally receive its long-awaited Boeing B737 MAX 8 aircraft, its first new aircraft after five years.

It is learnt that the aircraft with registration number 9M-MVA has departed Boeing Co's factory in Seattle, United States at 10:20am on Nov 13 (2.20am Nov 14 Kuala Lumpur time).

"The aircraft is expected to arrive in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 16. It will make a technical stop in Guam first," a Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) spokesperson told Business Times.

A technical stop is common for long-haul flights where an aircraft would land at a certain airport for refueling and maintenance checks such as inspection and repair if necessary.

MAG had also issued an official invite on the arrival of its first B737 MAX 8 to the media which will be on Nov 20.

The B737 MAX 8 is one of the 25 MAX 8 aircraft that the national carrier has ordered in 2016 as part of its fleet modernisation plan.

Malaysia Airlines had also recently welcomed its seventh addition of Airbus A350-900 to its widebody fleet.

The nearly four year old aircraft, which was re-registered as 9M-MAH, was previously flown by Scandinavian Airline (SAS Airline).

On Nov 11, the A350 flew from storage in Victorville, California to Kuala Lumpur. It currently retains the former SAS Airline cabin layout.

On Aug 25, Business Times reported that Malaysia Airlines' B737 MAX 8 aircraft had hit a delivery snag due to technical issues found during a series of test flights in Seattle.

"There were some defects from certain (aircraft) parts, so Boeing need to do the tests again to check," sources had told Business Times.

The aircraft was supposed to arrive to Malaysia on Aug 28.

Boeing previously told Business Times that it had dentified fastener holes that did not conform to its specifications in the aft pressure bulkhead on certain B737 aircraft.

"This is not an immediate safety of flight issue for the 737 fleet, which can continue operating safely.

"This issue will impact near-term 737 deliveries as we conduct inspections to determine the number of airplanes affected and complete required rework on those airplanes," a Boeing spokesperson said.

The American plane manufacturer added that it continued to deliver 737 aircraft that were not affected and was currently working through the issue with its supplier.

In August, Boeing had found a new quality issue with several of its B737 MAX 8 airplanes involving supplier Spirit AeroSystems.

The issue involves improperly drilled holes on the aft pressure bulkhead made using an automated drill.

MAG group managing director Datuk Captain Izham Ismail said on Nov 2 that the group was supposed to receive seven of the B737 MAX 8 aircraft in 2023 but later had to revise it to four.

"It (the B737 MAX 8) has been delayed for the last two and a half months. I'm very disappointed with the delivery progress of our B737 MAX 8," he said at the Airline Leader Interview Session at the Centre of Aviation Asia Aviation Summit and Sustainability for Excellence Awards 2023.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories