MIAMI – Xiamen Airlines (MF), a subsidiary of China Southern Airlines (CZ), is preparing its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for a return to service, a sign that the 737 MAX might soon be recertified to operate in China. 

Yesterday, MF told Chinese media outlet The Global Times that it was modifying its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft following the technical guidelines issued by Boeing. 

According to, MF currently operates ten aircraft of the type. The airline’s 737 MAX aircraft are now stationed in China’s northwestern provinces.

Another Xiamen Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft, B-1707 Boeing 737-85C. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

CAAC Awaits Technological Review of the MAX

Despite the plans, the CZ subsidiary does not have a clear timeline for the Boeing 737 MAX’s return to service, as the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), one of the last major regulators to not lift the ban, has yet to grant Boeing 737 MAX aircraft recertification.

As quoted in, Dong Zhiyi, the deputy head of the CAAC said at a Ministry of Transport press conference last month, “From the current situation, the major safety concerns that were raised by the CAAC has not been fully met, and for this reason, the relevant technological review has not entered the certified airworthiness phase.” 

Xiamen Air B-20EI Boeing 737-8 MAX Photo: Luca Flores/Airways