US-based Aerospace Manufacturer Boeing Commercial has announced full return of Boeing 737 MAX operations in Chinese Airspace. This comes at a time when the Chinese air travel is growing rapidly. On a yearly basis, air passenger trips in China have increased by 140.3% in 2023.
Boeing : Full Return of Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing Commercial has officially declared its complete return in Chinese market in terms of Boeing 737 MAX operations. The leading narrowbody aircraft is now flying on multiple regional as well as international sectors.
On his official WeChat Account, President of Boeing China, Liu Qing said that China nearly has a fleet of 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Now, most of these aircraft are back to service and are flying passengers safely.
As per an expert in Chinese Aviation, this full resumption of Boeing 737 MAX operations indicates that China has dealt with all the problems incurred by the Boeing 737 MAX. All the issues such as MCAS and Training Procedures have been tackled. Professor at the Civil Aviation Management Institute of China however believes that this do not mean that China has opened the doors for delivery of new Boeing 737 MAX models.
In January 2023, China Southern Airlines operated the maiden resumption flight with Boeing 737 MAX 8. China Southern Airlines has a fleet of 24 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Currently, 23 out of these 24 jets are in service. One aircraft registered as B-1202 is parked for some maintenance. This aircraft returned to commercial operations on 21 April 2023.
In the subsequent months, other chinese airlines like China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Airlines also resumed operations with the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
The leading Narrowbody aircraft was globally grounded in 2019, after it suffered two major crashes in 2018 and 2019. The reason behind these crashes was the faulty MCAS system, which controls the pitch of the aircraft. This faulty MCAS along with lack of pilot training procedures caused two major crashes – one with Ethiopian Airlines and another with Malaysian Lion Air.
China and Boeing 737 MAX
Country wise, China is the second largest market for Boeing after the United States of America. Hence, full resumption of Boeing 737 MAX operations in China is a great feat for the Airspace Manufacturer.
Currently, 13 different Chinese Airlines operates a fleet of more than 90 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. These consists of China Southern Airlines, Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Xiamen Air and Shandong Airlines.
Since the end of pandemic, the Chinese market is consistently recovering. According to a forecast by Flight Master, a Chinese travel services platform, the nation will manage roughly 620 million air passenger trips in total in 2023, including both domestic and international flights. These flights are predicted to recover to 93.8 percent of the pre-pandemic level observed in 2019.
Resumption of Boeing 737 MAX Delivery
Recently, Boeing has cleared one more hurdle in resuming deliveries to China. It has been granted approval from Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) for resumption of Boeing 737 MAX deliveries. After this approval, the Aerospace Manufacturer needs one more permission from China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Once this permission is granted, Boeing 737 MAX deliveries to Chinese Airlines will resume. In December month, Boeing accomplished one more feat, when it delivered a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines after a long wait of 4 years. This was the first widebody aircraft delivery to Chinese airlines in a period of 3 years.
Furthermore, Boeing announced that in 2023, the third phase of the expansion project of Tianjin Boeing Composite Material Co Ltd, a joint venture between Boeing and Aviation Industry Corp of China, was completed. 2023 was the 50th anniversary of Boeing’s entry in Chinese market. It is anticipated that the new factory will open soon.
Additionally, in 2023, Boeing’s B737 completion and delivery center in Zhoushan, in the Zhejiang province of East China, held competitions for aircraft painting and maintenance skills. According to the company, this helped to further develop the skills of local workers and prepared them for future aircraft deliveries.
Source : China Daily