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US In Discussions With China Over Boeing 737 MAX Approval

The 737 MAX is making a steady return to service around the world, with airlines in the US, Europe and more reactivating fleets and taking deliveries of new aircraft. But there is still one blight on the map, and that’s China. With the MAXIMUM still grounded in the east Asian country, almost 100 aircraft remain out of service. But the Biden administration is working to change that.

China Southern 737 MAX
The US will be discussing the ungrounding of the 737 MAX with Chinese authorities. Photo: Getty Images

A steady comeback

The Boeing 737 MAX has made an impressive comeback from its lengthy grounding. Since the FAA gave authorization for the type to fly, Boeing has been working hard to push the planes out of its factory plus storage facilities and get them delivered to customers.

At the point of the grounding, around 350 MAX aircraft were thought to be in service around the world. Today, data from ch-aviation shows that 238 are in active service, with a further 21 undergoing maintenance. This includes fleet that airlines have reactivated, as well as new deliveries from Boeing.

However, 222 aircraft are still listed as ‘stored’. These are not those that Boeing is yet to deliver to customers, but aircraft that were delivered pre-grounding and are yet to be put into service. The number may also include a handful that have been delivered post-grounding but put directly into storage due to the travel downturn.

Notable among the particular yet to be reactivated plane are large numbers belonging in order to Chinese airlines. Air The far east has 15, China Southern has 26, Hainan offers 10 and Shanghai Airlines has 10. There are other Chinese operators with grounded GREATEST EXTENT too – Shenzhen, Fuzhou, Kunming and Lucky Air to name just a few.

Air China 737 MAX
Almost one hundred 737 MAX are grounded in China. Photo: Boeing

Altogether, almost 100 737 UTMOST belonging to Chinese air carriers are still not back in operation. At present, these aircraft will remain on the ground, as China remains the last major aviation authority unwilling to let the plane fly.

In discussions

Tiongkok was the first country to be able to ground the 737 POTENTIAL following the two deadly crashes from the kind. As a growing aviation market, it’s an important region for Boeing in addition to a country where it needs to be able to trade. Speaking along with Bloomberg , US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo confirmed that the Biden administration is in conversation with the Chinese language authorities about the OPTIMUM, commenting,

“We’re absolutely working on it … China’s a big market, and we have for you to make sure American companies can do business presently there and export there. ”

China Southern 737 MAX
As well as the grounded fleet within China, Boeing has SPORK aircraft built and ready to deliver pending the ungrounding. Photo: Getty Images

On the other side of the world, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian was asked during a press conference what progress was being made on the SPOT. As reported by Huanqui , he responded,

“It is understood that typically the civil aviation authority associated with China has been maintaining communication with the FAA and even relevant US companies upon relevant issues, and is currently actively and orderly advancing relevant work. ”

According to Zhao Lijian, this Civil Aviation Authority regarding China (CAAC) requires three key principles to become met before it will unground the aircraft. These are:

  1. Its design must be approved as airworthy
  2. All crew must receive effective retraining
  3. The reports into the 2 incidents must be clear, with effective improvement measures as outcomes

It’s not obvious which of these steps has not been met yet, but CAAC is usually clearly not ready to help authorize the plane towards fly. For Boeing, it’s important to get the FATMUS back into service inside China, not just for the grounded fleet, yet also for the future. To put it in perspective, the last time a China airline ordered a 737 MAX Barak Obama has been in the White House. That’s something Boeing not only wants but needs to change.

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