China Eastern resumes Boeing 737-800 flights after the March crash

China Eastern resumes Boeing 737-800 flights after the March crash

China Eastern resumes Boeing 737-800 flights after the March crash

The China Eastern Airlines logo is pictured at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China on March 21, 2022. REUTERS / Tingshu Wang

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BEIJING, April 17 (Reuters) – China Eastern Airlines (600115.SS) began putting its Boeing 737-800s back into service for commercial flights less than a month after an accident killed 132 people and resulted in the airline grounded 223 of the plane, the carrier said Sunday.

The airline said it had conducted systematic testing, structural checks and verified airworthiness data for each of the aircraft and that test flights would be performed on all aircraft before commercial services resumed.

Boeing 737-800 aircraft with registration numbers close to the one that crashed on March 21 are still undergoing maintenance checks and assessments, the company told Reuters in a statement.

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Data from Flightradar24 showed earlier in the day that China Eastern Flight MU5843, operated by a three-year-old Boeing 737-800, took off from the southwestern city of Kunming at 09:58 (0158 GMT) on Sunday and landed at 11: 03 in Chengdu, also in southwestern China.

That plane, which completed a test flight on Saturday, then returned to Kunming, according to Flightradar24.

Another Boeing 737-800 jet conducted a test flight early Sunday in Shanghai, where China Eastern is based, according to data from Flightradar24.

On March 21, Flight MU5735, which was en route from Kunming to Guangzhou, crashed into the mountains of Guangxi and killed 123 passengers and nine crew members in mainland China’s deadliest air disaster in 28 years.

China has recovered both black boxes and said it will submit a preliminary report to the United Nations Air Force Agency ICAO within 30 days of the event. Read more

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Reporting by Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Helen Popper

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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