MIAMI – China’s aviation authority has issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) on the 737 MAX after assessing Boeing’s design improvements.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) AD instructs Chinese airlines on revisions required before the return to service of the type. China has not specified when it will lift its 737 MAX airspace ban.

The issuance of the AD is conducive to the model’s resumption to service in the country after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus. The CAAC was the first aviation authority to ban the MAX after two catastrophic crashes in March 2019.

Needless to say, the AD was regarded by Boeing as a major step toward the reinstatement of MAX service in China. According to Reuters, the company’s stock soared 4.3% in pre-market trade on the news, breaking a four-day losing run following fears about the Omicron coronavirus type.

Boeing 737 MAX 10 at Renton readying for first take-off. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Comments from CAAC

“After conducting sufficient assessment, CAAC considers the corrective actions are adequate to address this unsafe condition,” the regulator said in a statement on its website.

“The CAAC’s decision is an important milestone toward safely returning the 737 MAX to service in China,” Boeing said on Thursday. “Boeing continues to work with regulators and our customers to return the airplane to service worldwide.”

Boeing CEO David Calhoun stated in October that the company was seeking to obtain Chinese authorization for the 737 MAX to fly by the end of the year, with deliveries beginning in the first quarter of 2022. According to Boeing, approximately a third of the 370 undeliverable 737 MAX jets in storage are for Chinese clients.

The approval of the 737 MAX by China is news well-received, as it will help to reduce the inventory of undeliverable MAX jets. Before the type was grounded, Boeing was selling a quarter of its planes to Chinese purchasers, the company’s biggest clients.

Singapore, Malaysia, India, Japan, Australia, and Fiji are among the Asia-Pacific countries that have already cleared the 737 MAX’s return.

Featured image: Boeing 737 MAX 10 maiden flight. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways