REPORT: China appears to OK 737 MAX deliveries

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Media reports out of China say the country’s aviation regulator has published a report that American plane maker Boeing views as a key step for it to resume deliveries of the troubled 737 MAX to Chinese airlines more than four years after two deadly crashes.

Boeing has more than 130 completed MAX jets in inventory for Chinese customers worth more than $15 billion at list prices, although airlines typically receive substantial discounts, according to a Reuters report.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) on April 14 released the second revision of its 737 evaluation report which incorporates updates to 737 MAX training and technical information.

The report would have been distributed to Chinese airlines and conveyed the message that the regulator had reviewed the airplane and that carriers could take delivery should they want to, one person familiar with the matter said in the report.

Boeing said it sees the document as the “final technical requirement” necessary for restarting MAX deliveries, a second person told Reuters, adding that U.S.-China trade tensions could still stall progress.

The regulator’s report was mentioned by Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun at the company’s annual meeting on Tuesday. He called it “encouraging progress” and “an important step” for enabling future deliveries. He added however that “our customers will determine the timing of when they are ready to take delivery of their airplane.”

Chinese airlines begun returning the MAX to service in January led by China Southern and as of April, all Chinese MAX operators have resumed flight operations, with 45 of 95 MAX jets now back in service, Calhoun said.


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