The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on Thursday, said it had cleared Boeing Co's 737 MAX aircraft to fly with immediate effect. The aviation regulator lifted the ban on Boeing 737 Max planes' commercial flight operations after almost two-and-half years.
The rescission of ban "enables operation of Boeing company model 737-8 and Boeing company model 737-9 airplanes only upon satisfaction of applicable requirements for return to service", the DGCA order stated.
A senior DGCA official confirmed that the ban on 737 Max planes'' commercial flight operations has been lifted, PTI said.
The aircraft was grounded in the country since the March 10, 2019 fatal crash of Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max plane near Addis Ababa which had left 157 people, including four Indians, dead.
On March 13, 2019, all Boeing 737 Max planes were grounded in India by the DGCA after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max plane on March 10 near Addis Ababa which had left 157 people, including four Indians, dead.
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has been modifying the 737 Max plane since March 2019 so that various countries' regulators, including the DGCA, permit its passenger flight operations again.
In its order dated August 26, 2021, the DGCA stated that the operation of Boeing 737 Max planes are permitted "only upon satisfaction of applicable requirements for return to service".
However, in mid-April, the regulator said it would issue "special flight permits" to fly 737 Max plane "to a base for storage, repairs, alterations or maintenance". It also allowed foreign-registered Boeing 737 Max aircraft, which were grounded in the country since the March 2019 fatal crash in Ethiopia, to overfly India after taking the agency's permission.
SpiceJet 'settlement' with Avolon
Earlier on Thursday (August 26), no-frills carrier SpiceJet on Thursday said it has entered into a "settlement" with a lessor of Boeing 737 Max planes -- Avolon.
The Gurugram-based airline, in a statement, said it hopes to see these MAX aircraft flying again soon.
Earlier this month, it was reported that DGCA is "examining" whether Boeing 737 Max planes should be allowed to fly again in the country and a decision on the same was expected in two to three months.
Aviation regulators in the US and Europe have already approved the aircraft for flying with extensive fixes.
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