SEATTLE/BEIJING, Aug 4 (Reuters) – A Boeing Co (BA.N) 737 Max jet departed for China on Wednesday to conduct a flight check as a part of the U.S. planemaker’s try to achieve approval within the important journey market following two deadly crashes, individuals accustomed to the matter stated.
Flight-tracking website FlightRadar24 confirmed a 737 MAX 7 check airplane taking off from Boeing Area close to Seattle at 8:17 a.m. native time (1517 GMT) certain for John Rodgers Area exterior Honolulu, the primary leg of its journey throughout the Pacific.
Boeing and China regulators have scheduled re-certification flights and testing within the coming days, although the exact timing and the way lengthy the method would take might change relying on numerous elements, one of many individuals stated.
A Boeing spokesperson declined to touch upon the flight and referred inquiries to regulators. “Boeing continues to work with world regulators as they full their validation processes as a way to higher perceive enhancements to the airplane,” the spokesperson stated.
Some 30 airways and 175 nations have allowed the 737 MAX to return to service following a virtually two yr security ban after crashes 5 months aside killed 346 individuals, plunging Boeing right into a monetary disaster long-since compounded by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
Boeing’s 737 MAX stays grounded in China, the place commerce tensions between Washington and Beijing have minimize off gross sales for years, although Chief Government Dave Calhoun stated final week he nonetheless expects the 737 MAX to win approval earlier than year-end.
Earlier than the 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 after a second deadly crash, Boeing was promoting one quarter of the planes it constructed yearly to China patrons. For years, simmering geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing have brought about uncertainty.
Trade sources have additionally cautioned that the worsening COVID-19 pandemic state of affairs in China could delay the deliberate testing.
Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle and Stella Qiu in Beijing; further reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago and David Shepardson in Washington; modifying by Diane Craft
Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.