Updated December 29th, 2023 at 21:02 IST
Chinese carriers have fully resumed 737 MAX operations: Boeing
The flights resumption is being seen after a global grounding in 2019.
All Boeing 737 MAX jets operated by Chinese airliners are back into service, the US aircraft maker's China head said. The resumption of services comes nearly a year after the airline companies started flight operations, following a global grounding in 2019. The best-selling Boeing model was grounded after fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. The MAX returned to service around the world starting in late 2020 after modifications to the aircraft and pilot training, but Chinese airlines started to fly them again only in January 2023. "All China civil aviation 737 MAXs have resumed operations," Boeing China CEO Liu Qing said on Chinese social media, adding this amounted to nearly 100 planes.
The culmination of the MAX's return to service in China comes as Boeing conducts preparatory activities and flight tests on a number of 737 MAX jets designated for Chinese customers, raising speculation that the US aircraft maker could soon restart deliveries of the MAX to China, which have been suspended since 2019. The resumption of MAX deliveries would be a major breakthrough for Boeing's relationship with China, which has been impacted by the MAX crisis and US-China political tensions. It would also be a financial win for Boeing, allowing it to collect payment for dozens of Chinese MAX planes in its inventory
The company last week made its first direct delivery of a 787 Dreamliner to China since 2019, a step seen as a possible prelude to the end of Beijing's freeze on 737 MAX deliveries. Through November, it also handed over eight 777 freighters to Chinese customers, according to Boeing data. Boeing has been virtually frozen out of new orders from China since 2017 amid Sino-U.S. trade tensions. Boeing had earlier said it had instructed airlines to check all MAX planes for a possible loose bolt in the rudder control system after loose or missing hardware was found on two planes. FlyDubai, which flies only the 737 MAX and older model 737s, is currently conducting inspections of its fleet and does not expect them to have any effect to the airline's scheduled operations, a spokesperson said. "Any findings will be reported through our Safety Management System," the spokesperson said.
(With Reuters inputs)
Published December 29th, 2023 at 20:57 IST