(Yicai Global) May 6 -- China's Shanghai Airlines will start to fly 11 Boeing 737 Max planes from Shanghai to the northern cities of Lanzhou and Taiyuan from today to spare them the upcoming rainy season to avoid corrosion.
As per the requirements for planes' airworthiness and maintenance, the company decided to fly the 11 airplanes to the airports in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province and Taiyuan, Shanxi's capital, both of which have lower temperatures and a drier climate, for sealed storage after conducting comprehensive safety evaluation of the aircraft and systematic special training of crew members.
Shanghai's rainy season, which is about to roll around with its high temperature and possible typhoons, may negatively affect the planes' long-term parking and security, per an official statement by Shanghai Airlines today.
A total of four 737 Max planes had already flown to Taiyuan and Lanzhou today, Shanghai Airlines said.
China first stopped the flights of 96 Boeing 737 Max planes after one crashed in Ethiopia (Ethiopian Airlines) in March. Air China owns 15 of the airplanes, while China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Xiamen Air respectively own 14, 14, 24, 11 and 10.
The number of 737 Max planes stationed at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is the largest at 15, and more than the ranks of those in Paine Field where the 'base' of Boeing is located.
Urumqi Diwopu International Airport, where China Southern Airlines' branch in China's northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is headquartered, ranks third with 12 parked there.
The fleet of 737 Max idled at Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport also rank within the global top 10, per information Swedish aircraft flight information provider Flightradar24 released.
The influence of the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max on airlines and markets is still not apparent as now is the traditional off-season, a recent research report by Fujian province-based Industrial Securities notes, adding the 737 Max's transport share will be very large in the next two years, but it will clearly be still restricted if issues still cannot be solved before the onset of the peak season after June.
Editor: Ben Armour