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Boeing 737 MAX jet headed for completion plant in China – source

China Air Show in Zhuhai
A model of Boeing 737 Max airliner is displayed at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition or Airshow China in Zhuhai, east China’s Guangdong province, 28 September 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song

March 15, 2022

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Boeing 737 MAX jet that took off from Seattle on Monday is on its way to the manufacturer’s completion plant in China, an industry source said. year grounding.

Flight tracking websites showed the plane in the livery of Shanghai Airlines – a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines en route to Hawaii.

The source, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said it was the first fuel stop of a multi-day trip.

The Zhoushan plant, which will be used to install interiors before delivery, opened in December 2018, a few months before a second fatal MAX crash caused China to ground the model.

“If this indicates shipment, it will be the first MAX shipment to China since March 2019, which is significant given that the country has historically accounted for 17% of shipments,” Jefferies analysts said in a note to clients.

China’s aviation regulator provided airlines in early December with a list of fixes needed before returning to commercial flying, which is expected to happen early this year.

So far, however, there have only been test flights, which also delayed the delivery of more than 100 MAX jets already built for Chinese customers, which are located at Boeing sites in the United States.

Boeing declined to comment on the MAX flight to Zhoushan.

The planemaker said in a statement that it continues to work with regulators and customers to bring MAX back into service globally.

(Reporting by Stella Qiu in Beijing and Jamie Freed in Sydney; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Kenneth Maxwell)

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DUSTIN JONES

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