Chinese Airlines Resume Operations of All Boeing 737 MAX Jets Ending Global Grounding Since 2019

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As 2023 came to a close, all Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) 737 MAX jets under Chinese airlines resumed operations, marking an end to their worldwide grounding since 2019 following two fatal crashes.

What Happened: Liu Qing, CEO of Boeing China, disclosed on Chinese social media that approximately 100 of the 737 MAX planes are back in service. Liu also reported that Boeing has delivered new planes to Chinese customers this year, though he did not specify the models, Reuters reported.

The aircraft had been suspended globally after devastating crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia, which led to significant changes in both the aircraft and the training of pilots. Chinese airlines initiated the reoperation of these planes in January 2023.

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This resumption of operations indicates a potential renewal in the relationship between Boeing and China and a financial benefit for the company as it can now unload dozens of aircraft from its inventory. This development comes after Boeing’s exclusion from new orders from China in 2017 due to U.S.-China trade tensions.

Why It Matters: Prior to this announcement, Boeing had secured critical approval from China's aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). This approval, received in December, paved the way for Boeing to recommence its 737 MAX deliveries in China after a break of more than four years. The CAAC’s approval was a significant step, but individual aircraft deliveries still required the approval of China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

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