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Boeing 737 MAX is currently approved in over 175 countries globally, with China still being an exception. However, even there, Boeing sees a pathway back to recertification.
Here is what CEO Dave Calhoun said about recertification on Boeing’s second-quarter earnings call:
“We continue to work with global regulators and still anticipate that the remaining regulatory approvals will occur this year, including China, and as always we will follow global regulators lead in the steps ahead.”
“First of all let’s remember they have 100 airplanes on the ground in China that airlines want to get into the air. They’ve got the Olympics coming, and they want to move down that path. So they have a lot of natural incentive to want to do it. We’ve been working closely with [the CAAC] from the beginning. It’s constructive, technical issues are being resolved, in fact, for the most part, I think they’re all behind us, and yes I anticipate there will be test flights conducted in certification. As we said, we expect that we will get that before the end of this year,” he added.
China was the first country to ground the aircraft in 2019, but, at the moment, discussions around validation flights are underway. The three largest Chinese carriers, China Eastern, Air China, and China Southern, all have MAX aircraft in their fleet. Other airlines, such as Xiamen Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines, also have MAX planes parked and awaiting resuming the service.