Being close to the 737 production line means you see all sorts of airline markings on jets. That includes seeing an airline you didn’t know anything about. Caribbean Airlines had an upcoming delivery of a 737 Max 8 and it was out on test the day I took off. Not the most dramatic livery but still not too bad. The predecessors, Air Jamaica and BWIA were more colorful, though. It taxied passed me as it headed out so I got shots of it taking off. Later in the day it returned just as I was thinking it would be time to head home. It arrived and then I left. Quite a good end to the day.
With Max flight activity pretty much back to normal at BFI, there is no shortage of opportunities to shoot the jets on the approach. However, since it is now mid summer, the lighting is going to be pretty harsh most of the time. A little later in the day, though, and the light can be improved. I have also taken to using the polarizer to cut down on the harsher glare which is boosting the vibrancy of the shots. I got two of the jets during one visit.
One of them was a Ryanair Max 8-200. This is a special configuration that Ryanair has ordered that has an extra reader fuselage exit added to the -8 fuselage to allow the seat count to be increased. This jet turned out to be the first one to be delivered to the airline shortly after this was taken. The other was an Oman Air jet. Nice colors for the livery of this airline which were enhanced with the lower light angle and the polarizer. Sure, 737s are incredibly common but sometimes it can still be nice to shoot them.
We ended up taking a walk along the shore at Shoreline one morning as a result of our original plan failing to work out. I did take the camera with me because you never know what you might see out in the water. However, water based wildlife didn’t show up (nor did any interesting boats) but we did get some aviation. There was a Fiji Airlines 737 Max up on test and it flew along the sound before turning over us as it headed back to Boeing Field. I have seen to Fiji widebodies at various times but their narrow bodies won’t usually show up in the US so this was a new one for me. Not too close but definitely good to have seen.
I was running some errands in the Renton area one weekend so it seemed inappropriate to not pop to the airfield to see what the latest 737 customer aircraft were. There were several jets scattered across the field with Malta markings on them. None of them were very convenient to get a shot of but I managed to get some from the trail and some longer shots across the field from the park. Quite a nice looking livery I think. I have read that they are a Ryanair operation and these are Max 8-200s
The return to airworthiness of the 737 Max was first given in the US so there was a focus on getting airlines deliveries if they were under FAA jurisdiction. I guess we didn’t realize at that point that there would be some follow on issues that resulted in these jets getting grounded but such is the life of the Max watcher. Southwest started taking jets very soon after it was possible and Alaska soon followed with their first delivery – the grounding having come into effect before they had a chance to take their first jet.
On one day when I was watching the activity at Boeing Field, both airlines had aircraft out on test. They were operating under Boeing flight numbers but it wasn’t possible to tell whether they were production flight tests for Boeing or customer acceptance flights. No doubt I shall see a lot more of both operators with these jets in due course – once Boeing sorts out the latest issues and they become a more reliable part of service!
Another new airline for me with this post. Belavia is not an airline I am familiar with but I understand that they are from Belarus. One of their Max jets was on test while I was at Boeing Field and it came in late in the day. I was glad to add another unusual carrier to my library of shots. Nothing special about it otherwise but nice to get something new.
I had not heard of Blue Air prior to seeing this Max on test. It is a nice thing about living near Boeing’s production facilities that you see jets that will be heading somewhere you don’t go. In this case, I read not long afterwards that this jet was the first delivery of a Max to Blue Air and that they are a low cost carrier in Romania. I guess I now know about another airline that I previously was unaware of. Looked quite nice in these colors (when you consider how bland airline colors can be there days).
Boeing has been building and testing 737 Max jets throughout the grounding so having them flying is not a great surprise. However, with the grounding order lifted by the FAA, things are moving into a higher gear. United took delivery of a jet and American Airlines has indicated it will start service before the end of the year. Two jets were up on the same day which leads me to think that they have already undergone the mod programs and are being tested prior to delivery to the airline.