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China Southern Airlines Boeing 737 MAX jet

737 MAX Flights Seen Resuming in China

Jan. 13, 2022
Reports indicate that Chinese airlines are preparing to return their grounded aircraft to commercial service soon – which would signal to Boeing that deliveries may begin again too.

Boeing’s 737 MAX passenger jet will resume commercial operations in China this month, according to a published report. In December Civil Aviation Administration of China finally cleared airlines to restore the 737 MAX to their flight schedules, months after the aircraft had restarted service in the U.S. and the European Union, among many other places.

Once 737 MAX flights can be scheduled in China, Boeing will be able to increase production of the aircraft to fulfill backlogged orders. Chinese airlines have about 100 737 MAX jets available for service, but their orders include several hundred more.

Reportedly, a Hainan Airlines 737 MAX jet was spotted flying from a storage to an airport in southern China where the carrier operates.

The 737 MAX is Boeing’s best-selling aircraft, a twin-engine narrow-body passenger jet. The program was grounded for 18 months – from March 2019 to November 2020 – as a result of two fatal accidents attributed to the flight control software overriding the crews’ actions.

Boeing halted all 737 MAX deliveries in March 2019, though production of new aircraft continued.

The Federal Aviation Administration recertified the 737 MAX in November 2020, and U.S. airlines resumed commercial service with the aircraft in December 2020.

Last October, Boeing CEO David Calhoun predicted the CAAC would grant recertification by the end of 2021, and that the OEM would resume deliveries to Chinese customers in Q1 2022.

The CAAC’s December directive outlined its requirements for lifting the grounding order it issued in March 2019, including the certified design changes that Boeing implemented after more than a year of investigation; proper training for air crews; and establishing the specific causes of the two crashes that prompted the groundings.

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