China Southern Airlines (ZNH) has dramatically altered its plans for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft deliveries, which were scheduled to begin in 2024.
Bloomberg reported on May 18, 2022, that China’s largest carrier opted to drop 100 Boeing 737 MAX planes from its near-term delivery plan, citing an uncertain delivery schedule.
It means that instead of the 181 jets that were expected to join the airline by 2024, just 78 MAX jets will be delivered. China Southern aims to take 30 planes in 2022, 36 planes in 2023, and 12 jets in 2024 under the revised plan.
There is also a question mark over when the latest 737 model will be unground in the country.
Following two deadly disasters involving 346 people – Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia in 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in Ethiopia in 2019, China was the first country in the world to ground the plane in mid-March 2019.
In reaction to the events, China’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAAC) ordered that all MAX jets operating in the nation be grounded. The CAAC has not yet ungrounded the Boeing 737 MAX after issuing an airworthiness order in December 2021.
More than 140 MAX aircraft are planned to be delivered to Boeing’s Chinese customers.
China Southern Airlines (ZNH) is currently one of China’s largest Boeing 737 Family aircraft operators. According to Planespotters.com, the airline’s fleet consists of 26 Boeing 737-700s, 163 Boeing 737-800s, and 24 grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.