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India set to allow Boeing 737 Max to return to skies soon

India was one of the last countries in clearing one of the last remaining hurdles for the US planemaker as it seeks to get the model flying again worldwide.
 

India set to allow Boeing 737 Max to return to skies soon-dnm
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Bengaluru, First Published Aug 12, 2021, 3:57 PM IST
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India is all set to allow Boeing Co.’s 737 Max jets to resume flights in the country within days, according to a Bloomberg News report on Thursday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

India was one of the last countries in clearing one of the last remaining hurdles for the US planemaker as it seeks to get the model flying again worldwide.

India has been satisfied with the plane's performance since it was un-grounded in the US, Europe and a number of other nations, and Boeing has met the nation’s own requirements, which included setting up a Max simulator there, according to the report.

India’s Aviation Ministry spokesman, Rajeev Jain said a decision on un-grounding the Max is awaited. A representative for Boeing said the corporate continues to work with global regulators to securely return the Max to service worldwide, adding that quite 170 out of 195 global regulators have opened their airspace for the model.

Clearance in India is going to be a coup for Boeing, ending the plane’s quite two-year grounding during a country where Airbus SE’s A320-family of aircraft dominate the skies. It would leave China because of the last major hurdle for Boeing, given most other major aviation markets have allowed the jet to fly again following extensive fixes. Beijing moved first to ground the Max in 2019 after two deadly crashes, triggering a cascade of orders from aviation authorities around the world. Boeing conducted a test flight for regulators in China on Wednesday, the primary sign of a possible thawing.

Akasa, a replacement Indian airline backed by billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, has also approached authorities about its desire to work 737 Max jets, the person said. Boeing is in advanced discussions with Akasa to sell as many as 80 Max planes and is likely to offer steeper-than-usual discounts, Bloomberg News reported earlier this week.

SpiceJet Ltd., the sole Indian carrier that has 737 Max jets on order and is currently in discussions with the planemaker on a compensation package, hasn’t asked Indian authorities to lift the flight ban, the person said.

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