The Iraqi carrier will now have four 737 MAX 8 aircraft in its fleet.
On March 24th, three Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft took off, one after another, from Seattle Boeing Field (BFI). The three jets headed for Baghdad International Airport (BGW), potentially their new home with Iraqi Airways (as the airline has multiple bases). This year is off to an exciting start for the airline. The carrier has been taking delivery of more and more next-generation aircraft, with its first 737 MAX having arriving in February and its first Boeing 787 recently rolling off the assembly line.
Flight and aircraft details
According to BOE Family Flights, the three Boeing 737 MAX 8s delivered to Iraqi Airways are registered as follows:
- YI-ASX (MSN 65406/8538)
- YI-ASN (MSN 65410/8529)
- YI-ASM (MSN 65409/8516)
The three aircraft each had between three and four test flights each, with total test-flight times between five and eight hours prior to taking off for delivery.
While the range of these next-generation narrowbodies is a big step forward from previous generations, the jets still aren’t able to get from Boeing facilities to the Middle East with a single flight. In this case, two legs were required – something that’s still fairly impressive! With this latest delivery to Iraqi Airways, the jets first departed Boeing Field for Keflavik Airport in Iceland. The aircraft all arrived within the span of 30 minutes during the early hours of March 25th and quickly refueled before continuing the journey to Iraq.
At the time of this article’s publication, the aircraft are still en route to Baghdad, flying over the European continent. Their scheduled arrival time is between 13:13 and 13:24 local time.
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A big year for Iraqi Airways
It’s an exciting time for Iraqi Airways as it takes delivery of more brand new, modern aircraft from both Airbus and Boeing. While its first two Airbus A220-300s arrived in late 2021, many more jets are expected to arrive this year. The carrier took its 3rd A220 in December 2022 and its 4th the following month. February saw the airline introduce its very first 737 MAX and so this latest delivery will see the airline’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th airframes of the same type.
When it comes to widebodies, the carrier’s first Boeing 787-8 was spotted at Boeing facilities in Charleston in mid-March. According to BOE Family Flights, the aircraft isn’t known to have conducted any test flights yet, and thus it may be some time yet before the airframe makes its way to the Middle East. Iraqi Airways is expecting a total of nine 787-8s and a single -9.
Are you excited to see the fleet of Iraqi Airways grow? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!
Sources: BOE Family Flights, Planespotters.net, FlightRadar24.com