SilkAir’s Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft was flown back to Changi Airport (SIN) from Alice Springs Airport storage facility in Australia, where the airplane was stored after the aviation authorities grounded all Boeing 737 MAX series aircraft.

Boeing 737 MAX 8, registered as 9V-MBA, took off from Alice Springs and arrived at Changi Airport on December 30, 2020. The return of the first MAX indicates that these planes might be returning to commercial service in Singapore in the near future. 

In December 2020, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said that the Boeing 737 MAX would be allowed to return to commercial service when the CAAS assessed that it was safe to do so. The CAAS approval for commercial passenger flights is yet to be granted. 

“We will need to be assured that all aspects of the safety of Boeing 737 MAX operations have been addressed,” said CAAS deputy director-general Mr Tay Tiang Guan in a statement to Channel News Asia.

On September 30, 2019, Singapore’s SilkAir sent its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to Alice Springs storage facility, after aviation authorities grounded all 737 MAX series aircraft in March 2019.

The Boeing 737 MAXs were brought to Australia’s storage facility reportedly because of climatic conditions in the location as the aircraft had to be protected from Singapore’s wet tropical climate that could possibly have caused structural damage. “It’s too humid to store anywhere in Asia,” Tom Vincent, Managing Director of Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS) told South China Morning Post at the time. 

On November 18, 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States ungrounded the Boeing 737 MAX, allowing it to enter commercial service in the country again. Three airlines are now operating the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on commercial passenger flights: GOL Airlines, Aeromexico and American Airlines (A1G) (AAL).

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