The aviation regulator of China, CAAC, is still concerned about the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The Chinese authorities are still to conduct a final review of the jet only and plan to do so only after its safety-related issues are be fully resolved.
During a press conference in Beijing, China on March 1, 2021, Dong Zhiyi, the Deputy Head of the CAAC, pointed out that the authorities intensively communicated with Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) over the “major safety concerns” of the 737 MAX jet, indicating that the country is not ready to unground the aircraft yet.
Before the 737 MAX is allowed to operate in the country, changes of its design must pass approval for airworthiness and the flight crews must receive proper flight training, the Chinese regulator outlined.
“The technical review has not yet entered the certification and flight test stage,” Dong added. It remains unclear when that might happen.
The operational approval by the Chinese authorities plays a significant role for Boeing since China, as well as Europe and North America, is a crucial market for the Boeing 737 MAX. If China gives it a green light, it will be an important step for Boeing‘s commercial success. According to Boeing 737 MAX order and delivery list, Chinese air carriers have ordered up to 287 737 MAX jets, while 82 jets have been already delivered to customer companies.
China was the first country to impose a flight ban on the Boeing 737 MAX jet after 346 people died in two fatal crashes of Lion Air in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines in March 2019. Both incidents were blamed on the MAX software issues that pushed the jets into nosedives.