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India’s SpiceJet settles with Boeing MAX aircraft lessor CDB Aviation

Reuters Bengaluru | Updated on September 13, 2021

FILE PHOTO   -  REUTERS

The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March 2019 after two fatal crashes in five months killed 346 people

Budget airline SpiceJet said on Monday it has settled with another lessor of Boeing Co’s MAX aircraft, CDB Aviation, as it looks to start operating the aircraft by the end of September after India cleared the 737 MAX to fly last month.

The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March 2019 after two fatal crashes in five months killed 346 people, plunging Boeing into a financial crisis, which has since been compounded by the pandemic.

In August, India’s air safety regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, said it cleared 737 MAX aircraft to fly with immediate effect, after nearly two-and-a-half years of regulatory grounding.

Also read: SpiceJet’s Ajay Singh taps SBI to mount Air India bid

SpiceJet said in August it expected the grounded 737 MAX jets in its fleet to return to service at the end of September after a settlement with lessor Avolon on leases of the aircraft.

The lifting of the ban in India came months after the aircraft returned to service in the United States and Europe. More recently grounding orders were lifted in other countries,including Australia, Fiji, Japan and Malaysia.

The resumption of MAX aircraft services would be subject to regulatory approvals SpiceJet, India’s second-largest airline by market share and the only one in the country to fly the aircraft, said.

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China is the biggest market in the region that has yet to approve the return of the 737 MAX, though Boeing last month conducted test flights in the country. SpiceJet’s shares were up 0.3 per cent on Monday, while rival Indigo’s owner InterGlobe Aviation was down nearly 2 per cent.

Published on September 13, 2021

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