Saturday, November 20, 2021

SpiceJet resumes passenger flights on Boeing 737 Max after 2.5 years

New Delhi: The Boeing 737 Max on Saturday resumed flying passengers in India after 2.5 years. "SpiceJet has resumed operating scheduled commercial flights from Saturday using the Max," said a top aviation official. The Gurgaon-based airline “organised a special flight for employees” on Saturday to Varanasi, said its spokesman — marking the first flight with passengers since March 2019.

The aircraft will now be used for regular flights anytime now by SpiceJet, the only Indian carrier that has Max at the moment which had conducted an “operational readiness” flight on a Max Friday. SpiceJet had 13 leased Max in India when the planes were globally grounded in March 2019. The required hardware and software modifications were carried out on them.and they will soon start flying commercially.

Billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s Akasa has ordered 72 B737 Max which it will start getting in time for the planned launch in the summer of 2022.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had this August allowed the Max to fly again “upon satisfaction of applicable requirements for return to service” — meaning carrying out required changes to ensure safety. The max were globally grounded in March 2019 following two crashes — one of Indonesian Lion Air and other of Ethiopian Airlines — in quick succession. The two crashes had claimed the lives of 346 people on board these planes.

20/11/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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