Could the Boeing 737 MAX return to China after an almost four-year-long absence? China Southern Airlines, per reports, has scheduled two flights for this Friday, 13th January.
China reacted promptly to the events of ET302, being the first to ground the Boeing 737 MAX. Since then, the aircraft hasn’t flown with Chinese airlines. It has been able to enter Chinese airspace since the mid to late point of 2022, a positive development but not quite enough.
The two flights that have emerged are between Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport. The secondary flight will depart from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport again through Wuhan Tianhe International Airport.
There have been several murmurs about the possible ungrounding of the 737 MAX. However, while flights looked to be pencilled in October 2022, nothing eventuated, and the series has remained grounded.
Boeing has worked tirelessly with the Civil Aviation Administration of China to get the plane re-approved. But, unfortunately, tensions between China and the west have also prevented the plane from being re-approved promptly.
The 737 MAX now flies worldwide without concern. However, it’s the Chinese market that Boeing is still pushing to see the plane return.
Naturally, the aircraft manufacturer wants to look after its Chinese customers. However, Boeing has clarified that existing orders and delivery slots may be handed to customers who can actively utilise the MAX. This would be a last resort if the MAX continued to be grounded in the location and customers couldn’t operate the aircraft.
The 737 MAX has had an overwhelmingly positive return to the industry thus far, with hundreds of new orders and deliveries.