Assembly has finished on Malta Air’s first Boeing 737 Max aircraft, which will be the first to fly under the airline’s livery.
The aircraft, bound for the Ryanair subsidy, are yet to receive their liveries but have been identified as Malta Air-bound from their pre-printed rudders and split wingtips.
Malta Air was established in 2019 as a result of an agreement between the Ministry for Tourism and Ryanair.
As part of the agreement, Ryanair would seek to “increase its Malta-based fleet to 10 aircraft within three years and create over 350 jobs”, and “brand its Malta-based fleet in Malta Air colours for summer 2020”
Boeing’s 737 Max has been maligned by controversy after being involved in two crashes, in October 2018 and March 2019, causing 346 deaths. Boeing 737 MAX aircraft were grounded for several months following these incidents, pending investigation, and certification by regulators.
However, the aircraft model has subsequently been recertified as safe to fly by aviation regulators, including in Europe and North America.
For Europe, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in January 2021 approved the aircraft to return to service following modifications with a package of software upgrades, electrical wiring reworks, maintenance checks, operational manual updates and crew training.
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Progress has been made in discussions, but more needs to follow, says the Association