LONDON – Korean Air will start flying the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in March.
The first narrowbody jet arrived in Seoul Gimpo International on Sunday on delivery from Seattle via Anchorage and Tokyo Narita.
The flag carrier of South Korea signed a deal for a total of 30 737 MAXs with 20 options in November 2015, but the delivery had been delayed due to safety investigations and improvements.
The airline now expects to bring a total of six 737 MAX planes into service throughout 2022 and operate 24 more units until 2028.
The airline has developed its own safety measures, dispatching a special maintenance team consisting of veteran engineers for routine checks, and appointing pilots with more than 7,000 hours of flight experience to fly the new planes.
South Korea’s Transportation Ministry also plans to closely review the overall operation of airlines as it is joining simulator training and test flights.
“We will put all efforts for its safe operation under the supervision of the Transport Ministry. Our safety and security officers will serve as a comprehensive control tower for the plane’s safe operation,” a Korean Air official said.
The upcoming launch comes as airlines around the world are bringing the Boeing aircraft into service after a two-year hiatus due to two fatal crashes.
Boeing said it has drastically improved the plane’s flight stabilizing program while enhancing pilot training. With its upgraded safety features, airlines resumed flying MAX planes last year.