NewDelhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday allowed Boeing 737 Max to fly in Indian airspace again, after carrying out the required safety modifications.
The Boeing 737 Max planes were grounded globally in March 2019 after two crashes within 5 months.
Recently, these planes were allowed to fly again by regulators of different countries as well like the US, EU and UAE -- after undergoing required hardware and software updates for safety.
Meanwhile, SpiceJet — the only Indian carrier with B737 Max in India — 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… around the end of September 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.”
In all, India had eighteen Boeing 737 Max planes — five ex-Jet and 13 of SpiceJet — at the time of grounding. To be sure, Boeing will need to carry out modifications of SpiceJet Max before they can fly again.
Besides, billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala also plans to launch an airline by early next year with a B737 Max fleet. Ex-Jet Max have been flown out by lessors.
DGCA chief Arun Kumar issued an order rescinding the March 2019 grounding of B737-8/9 Max.
“This rescission enables operation of Boeing Company Model 737-8 and Boeing Company Model 737-9 (Max) airplanes only upon satisfaction of applicable requirements for return to service,” Kumar said.
Commenting on SpiceJet's deal, the airline's chairman and managing director Ajay Singh said: “I am delighted to share that our 737 Max will be back in the air soon. As India emerges from Covid and air traffic picks up again, the Max aircraft will play a major role in our future expansion. With a better and a more efficient fleet back in operation we expect a significant reduction in our operating costs improving our bottom line.”
India had barred the Max from flying to, from, within and over Indian airspace on March 13, 2019.