Turkish Airlines resumes Boeing 737 MAX 9 flight after two years

Turkish Airlines reactivated its sole Boeing 737 MAX 9 last week after spending two years in storage at Istanbul Airport.

The Boeing 737 MAX 9, with registration TC-LYA, took off for a test flight on May 22, 2021, before returning to commercial service. After the successful operation of the test flight, the aircraft was reintroduced for regular flight.

The 737 MAX 9 operated a short domestic passenger flight TK-2340 from Istanbul Airport to Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport three days after the test flight.

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Boeing 737-9 MAX
Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX, Photo; Çelik Mehmet Mustafa

TC-LYA was delivered to the airline back on March 1, 2019, and is currently 2.3 years old. It is configured in a two-class configuration with 16 business class seats and 153 economy class seats.

Turkish Airlines resumed Boeing 737 MAX flights on April 15, 2021, after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation approved the types return to service a week earlier.

The Istanbul-based airline has 12 Boeing 737 MAX in its fleet, comprising 11 737 MAX 8s and a 737 MAX 9. In addition to this, it has a further 45 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and eight 737 MAX 9s on order, making it one of the largest buyers in Europe.

However, the Turkish flag carrier has already deferred the majority of these aircraft deliveries, citing multiple issues and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only four Boeing 737 MAX 8s, with registration TC-LCA, TC-LCD, TC-LCE, and TC-LCK, are active in service, whereas the other seven are stored at Istanbul Airport. These MAX 8s are configured in a two-class configuration with 16 business class seats and 135 economy class seats.

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