China Eastern’s Boeing 737-800s Return To The Skies

A China Eastern Boeing 737-800 approaches over water.
Photo Credit: By Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – China Eastern Airlines has returned its Boeing 737-800 to the skies, following a deadly crash that killed 132 people.

Data from RadarBox shows China Eastern Flight MU5844 being operated by one of the carrier’s 737-800 aircraft. The flight departed Chengdu at 12:53 CST, landing in Kunming at 14:16 CST.

China Eastern MU5844 Flight Track

A Quick Recap

On March 21, China Eastern, unfortunately, had one of its Boeing 737-800 crashes in the Guangxi Province. The crash killed all 132 people on board. Since the crash, both black boxes have now been recovered and a full investigation into the incident is currently underway. It is unlikely that we will hear anything from the investigation in the coming months. Investigators will be trying to re-build the puzzle of what happened on that fateful day.

After the incident, China Eastern took the position to ground their entire fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft. This is not an easy decision for the airline which currently has 108 of the aircraft ready for active service.

Looking Forward

According to China Eastern currently has 106 of its 737-800’s parked up, but now has two in active service. These aircraft one of which was seen on RadarBox are likely being used as testbeds for the airline. Presumably, they’re looking to potentially reintroduce the rest of the planes in the near future.

It is likely that the airline has possibly been told that it is unlikely to have been a mechanical fault that caused the crash. However, until it’s determined China Eastern will not be keen on the return of 106 aircraft which could be hiding the same mechanical issues.

China Eastern has been unavailable to comment on the tracked flights over the last coming days. However, if the theory that these flights are test services, then it could mean that we are getting closer to finding out the cause of the accident that we have initially guessed. The airline will need the full support from both Boeing and the Chinese Aviation Authority if it is going to safely return the remaining aircraft back into active service.

At this moment in time, all of the information available is only speculative at best. We still are not aware of the full and current position and stance of the airline on these aircraft. Until this is made more clear and the airline comments, any additional reports would be based purely on speculation and third-hand information.

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