China Southern Airlines, the country’s largest 737 MAX operator, has performed a test flight of the plane, indicating that the country’s aviation regulator is getting closer to recertifying the plane, according to Reuters.
China Southern Airlines (ZNH) Boeing 737 MAX 8, registration as B-1206, took off for what is believed to be a first test flight from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) on January 21, 2022, according to Flightradar24.com data.
FATII Aviation, a Chinese aviation multimedia provider, also witnessed the carrier’s 737 MAX taking off from Guangzhou Baiyun.
The China Civil Aviation Authority (CAAC) issued an airworthiness directive (AD) for the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in December of 2021.
The AD informs airline operators about the changes that must be made before the MAX can be recertified. It did not say when China’s prohibition on the MAX in its airspace will be lifted.
Getting permission to fly in China again would be a huge boost for Boeing. The country is one of the final major nations to refuse to recertify the 737 MAX for flight.
After two catastrophic incidents in Ethiopia and Indonesia, China becomes the first country to ground the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in 2019.
The primary aviation regulators, including as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Europe, and Transport Canada (TC) in Canada, have already reapproved the 737 MAX’s commercial usage.