Back in 2018, Belavia ordered five latest (in those days) Boeing 737 MAX 8 that were supposed to replace old Boeing 737-500 and 737-300 of the 737 Classic series in the airline’s fleet, which were more than 20 years old. The MAX, in addition, consumed significantly less fuel, which was a big plus and allowed to make some plans for further development.
However, after the order, the aircraft’s reputation was badly shaken by two crashes that occurred in late 2018 and early 2019 (in Indonesia and Ethiopia), taking 346 lives. Then a temporary decommissioning of the 737 MAX 8 took place, valid until the end of 2020.
As a result, Belavia received its first Boeing 737-8 MAX with registration number EW-528PA only in April 2021. At that time, Belavia’s general director Igor Cherginets said happily that the new airplane «will allow us to do what we are so much expected to: reduce the cost of airline tickets.»
And then it was May 2021, when the Ryanair plane with Raman Protasevich on board was forcibly landed in Belarus to arrest the dissident journalist. After that, the European sky was closed for the whole Belavia, but for EW-528PA it was a «special disaster,» because since May 2021 it can’t leave Belarus at all – it can’t even fly to Russia, because there is still a ban on flights for this type of civil aircraft there.
What about other 737 MAX 8?
Briefly, Belavia has not received the remaining 4 aircraft. Until recently, all of them were in the process of testing at the Boeing Aircraft Corporation plant in Seattle, USA. Moreover, three of them found new owners right at the parking lot of the plant. And it happened not long ago – in June-July 2022.
EW-546PA now has the reg.number LV-KEJ and belongs to Aerolineas Argentinas – the largest airline in Argentina. It also owns another MAX of Belavia – EW-551PA, its new registration number is LV-KEI. Another EW-547PA also found a new owner – it is the Turkish airline Corendon Airlines, and the new registration number of the aircraft is TC-MKE.
Only the last one, EW-529PA, is still unsold, but we can already say that Belavia will definitely not get it.
Former Boeing 737 MAX 8 of Belavia with its new reg.number LV-KEJ, now belonging to Aerolineas Argentinas
На русском языке:
«Трое уже проданы»: Белавиа заказала 5 Boeing 737 MAX 8 и получила из них только один, который не может летать за пределы РБ
На беларускай мове: «Тры ўжо прададзеныя»: Белавія замовіла 5 Boeing 737 MAX 8 і атрымала з іх толькі адзін, які не можа лятаць за межы РБ