April 2. On March 21st, China Eastern grounded its entire Boeing 737-800 fleet. Almost two weeks on, thousands of hours of flight time have been lost.
Monday, April 4th, will mark two weeks since the horrific crash of China Eastern Airlines flight MU5735. Over the past two weeks, investigators and recovery specialists have been working hard to deal with the wreckage and victims of the crash. Another near-immediate action taken in the aftermath was the grounding of China Eastern’s entire Boeing 737-800 fleet- the same type involved in the March 21st crash. This entire fleet of 108 narrowbodies remains grounded.
While Chinese officials and even investigators from the US NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) have made significant progress with recovery efforts, findings regarding the cause have yet to be announced and all 108 737-800s remain grounded. If we calculate a fairly modest average of five hours of flight per day per aircraft across this entire fleet, then over 7,000 flight hours would have been given up due to the grounding up to this point.
It does appear, however, that the capacity given up due to the grounding isn’t badly needed. Indeed, due to the lingering effects of the pandemic, other large portions of the China Eastern fleet remain parked as well. Large portions of the airlines’ Airbus A320 family fleet are currently listed as inactive.
Source: Simple Flying