MIAMI – Indian Aviation regulator the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has finally announced the lifting of the two-and-a-half-year-long ban on the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The DGCA states also that the type can fly with immediate effect.
“This rescission enables operation of Boeing Company Model 737-8 and Boeing Company Model 737-9 (MAX) airplanes only upon satisfaction of applicable requirements for return to service,” DGCA chief, Arun Kumar stated.
Post two tragic incidents with Lion Air (JT) and Ethiopian Airlines (ET) in 2019, the DGCA banned the type as several other countries did. The news is on the bright side for the stuck aviation market especially for Spicejet (SG), the only airline in the country to host the MAX.
Relief for SpiceJet
Spicejet currently has 13 Boeing 737 Max 8 in its fleet and over 100 on order. The airline expects to get the MAX flying as early as the end of next month as it still needs to prove certain requirements to the DGCA.
Issuing an order today, the DGCA said that the operation of Boeing 737 MAX planes is permitted “only upon satisfaction of applicable requirements for return to service.”
Spicejet also immediately entered a settlement with its lessor Avolon, taking all necessary actions to get the bird flying as soon as possible.
Jet Airways (9W), which is also on its way to reviving operations, had five Boeing 737 8 that have all been flown out by lessors. Whether the airline re-inducts the type will only be clear once its operations begin.
On its part, India’s new LCC startup Akasa, which firmly eyes to build its fleet with the MAX, can now finally proceed with a potential order and move to a higher gear for commencing operations.
Featured image: SpiceJet VT-SLF Boeing 737-8AS(WL). Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways