MIAMI – Singapore Airlines (SQ) is gradually bringing back its Boeing 737 MAXs from the Australian desert. The aircraft with the registration 9V-MBA flew for the first time since the groundings last year from Singapore on March 11.

The flight suggests that SQ is preparing to bring the aircraft type back into service. As part of Silk Air’s (MI) integration into Singapore Airlines, SQ will operate the 37 MAX 8s on order.

A Boeing 737 MAX 8 registered as 9V-MBA was used for the MI8880 test flight. According to, the plane flew for more than two hours before turning around, passing south of the South China Sea.

It also made a go-around before finally touching into land at 12.40 local time. The aircraft was returned to Singapore from longer term storage in Alice Springs, Australia late last year.

Silk Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 | Photo: Boeing

Singapore Airlines’ Fleet

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 was delivered to SQ’s subsidiary MI on September 30, 2017, and flew for the first time on September 12, 2017.

The aircraft’s serial number is 44246 LN: 6535, and it has 12 business class seats and 144 economy seats. The engines are a pair of CFM Leap-1B from CFMI International.

Silk Air, soon to be completely integrated with SQ, currently operates 36 Boeing 737s, with 13 Next Generation models and 6 MAXs.

Seven of the Boeing 737-800s operated by MI are planned to be sold, while the rest will be operated by SQ.

Silk Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 | Photo: Boeing

Statement from Silk Air

Silk Air/SIA said, “This was a post-modification test flight, conducted after the installation of a communications antenna related to the aircraft’s cabin retrofit programme.”

“We will continue to work with and be guided by our regulators on Boeing 737-8 MAX operations. The safety of our customers and staff is our top priority.”

“We will need to be assured that all aspects of the safety of Boeing 737 Max operations have been addressed. As part of this review, [we] will consider the US FAA’s requirements and will determine if there is a need to impose additional requirements before we lift the suspension on Boeing 737 Max operations.”

Featured Image: Boeing