Updated December 21st, 2023 at 16:37 IST
Boeing secures regulatory clearance in China, nearing 737 max resumption
Chinese imports of the Boeing 737 MAX, a key revenue-generating product for the company, have been suspended since its global grounding in 2019.
Boeing has received approval from China's aviation regulator, marking a significant step towards resuming deliveries of its 737 MAX aircraft to the country after a prolonged hiatus of more than four years, reported trade publication The Air Current on Wednesday.
While individual aircraft deliveries to China were halted in 2019 following two fatal crashes, the recent clearance from China's aviation regulator is a positive development for Boeing. However, it's noteworthy that the specific approval from China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is still pending for these deliveries to proceed, as mentioned in The Air Current's report.
Boeing issued a statement saying, "We continue to support our customers in China and will be ready to deliver for our customers when that time comes."
On December 8, the deputy head of China's aviation regulator reportedly conveyed to a Boeing executive in Beijing that the aerospace giant was encouraged to expand its presence in the Chinese market, as reported by Reuters. The Air Current, citing undisclosed sources, indicates that the regulator's clearance was granted on that same day.
Chinese imports of the Boeing 737 MAX, a key revenue-generating product for the company, have been suspended since its global grounding in 2019. Although safety bans have been lifted, allowing previously delivered MAX aircraft to operate in China, the resumption of new deliveries has remained on hold.
Flight tracking data from FlightRadar24 reveals that a 737 MAX designated for China Southern Airlines undertook a flight from Boeing Field in Seattle to the company's facility in Moses Lake, Washington, and returned on Wednesday afternoon. Analysts from Jefferies and Deutsche Bank suggest that this flight appears to be a customer acceptance flight, a standard procedure conducted by airline pilots before the final delivery.
For Boeing, a successful resumption of deliveries to China holds significant strategic importance, representing the reopening of opportunities in one of the world's most critical aerospace markets. Boeing estimates that China will constitute 20 per cent of global aircraft demand through 2042, underlining the potential long-term impact of this development on the company's future prospects.
(With Reuters inputs)
Published December 21st, 2023 at 07:33 IST