Home / News / India /  DGCA lifts ban on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft after two-and-half years

India's air safety regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on Thursday, said it had cleared Boeing Co's 737 MAX aircraft to fly with immediate effect. 

With this, the country's air safety regulator ended its nearly two-and-a-half-years of regulatory grounding in a key travel market for Boeing.

DGCA had banned Boeing 737 MAX operations in India since March 2019 after two fatal accidents.

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has been modifying the 737 MAX plane since March 2019 so that various countries' regulators, including the DGCA, permit its passenger flight operations again.

Issuing an order today, the DGCA said that the operation of Boeing 737 MAX planes are permitted "only upon satisfaction of applicable requirements for return to service".

SpiceJet, as per reports, has over 100 737 MAX planes on order. The Gurugram-based airline said it has entered into a "settlement" with a lessor of Boeing 737 Max planes -- Avolon.

"SpiceJet has entered into a settlement with Avolon, a major lessor of Max aircraft, paving the way for the airline's 737 MAX aircraft to start to return to service," the low-cost carrier said in the statement.

In a statement, the airline said it hopes to see these MAX aircraft flying again soon. SpiceJet is the only airline in the country to fly the 737 MAX aircraft.

The airline, in the statement today, also said it expects to start operations of Max planes around the end of September this year, subject to regulatory approvals.

Nearly 175 countries have allowed the 737 MAX to return to service following a safety ban, with 30 airlines already restarting their MAX aircraft services.

Aviation regulators in the US and Europe have already approved the aircraft for flying with extensive fixes.

China is now the only major market where regulators are yet to give the MAX a go-ahead. Boeing earlier this month conducted a test flight of the 737 MAX plane in China.

Meghna Sen
Meghna Sen is a deputy chief content producer at Livemint where she tracks companies, markets, news. She has 5+ years of experience with online and print publications. Email: meghna.sen@htdigital.in
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