December 9, 2020 / Brazilian low-cost carrier GOL (G3) today overtook American Airlines (AA) as the first airline in the world to fly commercially the Boeing 737 MAX after the type had been grounded some 20 months ago. The US carrier has set the return to service of the type for December 29 on the Miami-New York (LGA) route and the rotation was intended to be the first for the MAX following the ungrounding by the FAA in November.
But today, without any announcement or press release, GOL flight G3 4104 took-off from Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) to Porto Alegre (POA) operated by a Boeing 737 MAX 8, making the Brazilian low-cost the first airline in the world to put the MAX back into service. According to Flightradar24, the flight took off from GRU at 8.41 (with a 21 minutes delay) and landed in POA a few minutes after 10.00.
A few weeks ago Brazilian commercial aviation authority, ANAC, had been the only one, along with the US FAA, to give its clearance for the return to service of the MAX, while other authorities including European EASA are still taking time. The aircraft used for the ‘debut’ flight is PR-XMB, a 2.3 years old MAX 8. The aircraft had repositioned from Sao Paulo Congonhas to Guarulhos on December 4. (Photo Wikimedia Commons / Alexandro Dias)