Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Boeing says 11 Chinese airlines have resumed operating 737 MAX

Boeing said on Tuesday that 11 Chinese airlines have resumed operation of the 737 MAX as of April 10, in a positive sign for the U.S. plane-maker's attempts to rebuild its business in the world's second-largest aviation market.

Based on these airlines, the number of 737 MAX returning to commercial service reached 43, accounting for approximately 45% of the Chinese 737 MAX fleet, the company also said in a social media post on its official WeChat account.

The best-selling Boeing model was grounded in March 2019 after fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, but returned to service around the world starting in late 2020 after modifications to the aircraft and pilot training.

China is the last major market to resume flying the MAX amid ongoing trade tensions with the United States, and the return comes as domestic travel demand rebounds after China abandoned zero-COVID policies.Foreign airlines began flying the MAX to China in October 2022. In January, China Southern Airlines flew from Guangzhou to Zhengzhou using a MAX plane, marking the plane's first passenger flight in China in nearly four years.

Boeing did not name who the 11 airlines were but carriers including Hainan Airlines Holding Co Ltd, Fuzhou Airlines, Lucky Air and Air China have flown the jets in the months since.

The U.S. plane-maker also said it has upgraded a flight training device for the 737 MAX jet in Shanghai to help with pilot training.

"The move reaffirms our commitment to our civil aircraft customers in China," said Sherry Carbary, president of Boeing China.

"The equipment upgrade allows us to further enhance our support for Chinese 737 MAX customers as they expand the aircraft's operations in and around China."

(Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh - Reuters)


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