Brazil's Gol is first airline to restart flights of Boeing 737 MAX

SAO PAULO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Gol became the world’s first airline on Wednesday to fly the Boeing 737 MAX commercially since the planes were grounded 20 months ago following two deadly crashes that killed hundreds of people.

Wednesday’s first flight was between the Brazilian cities of Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre, according to data from FlightRadar24, a website that tracks plane routes. The Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes plane was due to return to Sao Paulo later in the day.

Brazil’s civil aviation regulator ANAC lifted its no-fly order on the MAX in late November, following a similar decision by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

The flights are a key milestone for Boeing, which had been trying to get the plane back in service much earlier, blowing through its initial target of late 2019.

American Airlines is expected to be the next operator to restart flights with the MAX, on Dec. 29.

Gol, which has ordered more than 100 MAX planes from Boeing, had no immediate comment. (Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun Editing by Peter Graff)