After reviewing the Malaysia Airlines [MAS] website on Thursday, it’s noted that the airline no longer operates any Boeing 777-200ER’s in their fleet but was actually one of the first airlines to fly the aircraft when it took delivery of its first -200ER back on April 23, 1997.
Their first flight was on March 26, 1997, using 9M-MRA, which has since been stored after serving over 20 years in the skies for MAS. The year 1997 also became known as the year of the Triple Seven after the airplane achieved its first flight and amassed many orders for the -200ER variant.
Data reviewed by MH370Latest shows that out of the 17 -200ER models MAS received between April 1997 and December 2004, seven of them have been stored while another seven have been leased to other companies. Two have been written off and another scrapped as the airline restructures and reshapes after twin disasters.
Of the two airplanes that were written off, one was the airplane being used to operate flight MH370 between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing in 2014, registered as 9M-MRO. It was delivered to MAS on May 14, 2002, and had over 53,400 hours of flying time in just under twelve years.
The other write off was 9M-MRD, destroyed in an accident above the Ukraine on July 17, 2014. That aircraft flew more than 76,000 hours in 17 service years for Malaysia’s flag carrier.
Despite the two incidents, Boeing has delivered 422 -200ERs to dozens of happy airlines around the world and according to aviation expert Jock Williams, “There’s no problem with the airplane,” he said during an interview with MH370Latest last week. American Airlines, British Airways and United received the bulk of the -200ERs that have been built since 1997 and many airlines still use them today.
The first-ever -200ER was entered into service by British Airways [BA] on February 9, 1997, after being received three days earlier, according to Boeing records. BA had ordered it on June 14, 1991, and became the launch airline for the much-anticipated aircraft.
Since then, the -200ER has set many records for distance and speed but it is a MAS -200ER that still holds the Great Circle Distance by flying 20,044 kilometres between Seattle and Kuala Lumpur in 1997.
“There’s no investigation into the class [-200ER] in general. The plane is very well-proven with millions of flying hours,” said Williams. “Problems with airplanes are solved very quickly because when there’s a problem with an airplane, it gets an amount of publicity that it is just immediately resolved.”