Per Bloomberg, Boeing is reportedly readying to resume deliveries to Chinese customers for the 737 MAX after more than four years. If completed, this would be a substantial moment for the series.
During the early stages of the 737 MAX crisis, which saw deliveries suspended, China was one of the first to ground the aircraft and stopped taking delivery of the type.
However, while airlines and regulators around the globe cleared the aircraft for flying and deliveries, China remained bullish on allowing customers to acquire new units. As such, deliveries have remained suspended for four years.
The implications of suspended deliveries have changed the program’s trajectory so much that Boeing has looked to ship units initially destined for Chinese customers elsewhere. This is to ease their backlog and deliver built or almost built aircraft to customers willing to accept the type.
Sources with Bloomberg report that the preparation process is well underway, and handovers could occur for the aircraft in the coming weeks.
The 737 MAX’s presence within China is slated to be significant, with countless customers awaiting units. However, with Boeing unable to deliver MAX aircraft since 2019, it has slowed down airline growth and replacement plans.
China Southern Airlines, Xiamen Airlines, Air China and Ruili Airlines, per Cirium data, are or will be some of the largest operators of the MAX within China, assuming all units are eventually delivered.