Boeing 737 Max aircraft is coming back to operations after a three-year ban in Hong Kong. The Civil Aviation Department in Hong Kong has issued the directive to airlines to restart using Boeing 737.
The directive orders that the airlines that intend to use Boeing 737 Max for services should comply with the airworthiness instruction from the US Federal Aviation Administration. They can also comply with a similar stringent directive from the country where the plane was registered. The aircraft should carry a valid certificate of airworthiness, mentioning its compliance.
The return of the 737 Max model aircraft was an issue of credibility to aircraft manufacturer Boeing to rebound from the pandemic and safety scandals.
The plane was banned after two fatal crashes involving Boeing 737 Max flights JT610 and ET302 by Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines, which happened in 2018 and 2019 in Ethiopia and Indonesia. The incidents resulted in the death of 346 people on board. After the second accident, civil aviation authorities worldwide banned Boeing 737 Max from using it for passenger services. Boeing made severe design changes and rectifications in the aircraft’s MCAS system before re-applying for airworthiness. US aviation authority Federal Aviation Administration recertified the plane, after which Brazilian airline GOL became the first to resume the passenger service with the aircraft.
Boeing 737 Max aircraft back into action worldwide
In Hong Kong, Siberia Airlines and SpiceJet use Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Several Chinese airlines have Boeing 737 MAX fleets, approximated to around 13 carriers. China Southern Airlines Co. and Hainan Airlines recently conducted test flights with the model.
Ethiopian Airlines, the carrier whose aircraft was involved in the accident, has announced its plan to resume services with the plane. The airline will start using Boeing 737 Max from February 2022. According to data from Cirium, nearly 29 air carriers have Boeing 737 Max in their fleet. According to Bloomberg, a Hong Kong-based airline Greater Bay Airlines is considering an order for as many as 30 Max jets. India gave the green light to Boeing 737 Max in August 2021. India’s aviation regulatory authority Directorate General of Civil Aviation has given airlines a list of preventive measures to monitor the aircraft’s performance.