SpiceJet puts its Boeing 737 Maxs in the air

After being grounded for over 30 months following two fatal air crashes globally, SpiceJet’s Boeing 737 MAX planes have recommenced commercial flights in the country.

Two planes out of a total 13 MAXs in SpiceJet’s fleet are back in service, according to the airline’s spokesperson. Commercial flights started from Sunday.

The airline used the aircraft for a return flight between Delhi and Mumbai on Sunday. On Monday, it conducted one return flight between Delhi and Mumbai and one between Delhi and Siliguri, according to aviation enthusiast and the founder and editor of aviation website LifeFromALounge.com

SpiceJet also has a special flight planned on Tuesday when Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia will travel from Delhi to Gwalior.

No public announcement was made by SpiceJet on the return of the MAXs to Indian skies.

The resumption of passenger services on this plane follows an operational readiness flight conducted by SpiceJet on Friday.

“We have ensured that the airline has implemented the requirements prescribed by U.S. regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European regulator European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). A number of test flights have also been conducted,” a senior DGCA official said.

The DGCA had issued an order on August 26 withdrawing its March 2019 ban on Boeing 737-8 and 737-9 following a global outrage over the involvement of MAXs in two air crashes that killed more than 300 people.

Following FAA’s nod in November 2020, and EASA’s approval in January 2021 for MAX’s return to service, more than 175 out of 195 global regulators have opened their airspace to the 737 MAX. More than 30 airlines have returned their fleets to service and those airlines have flown over 2,35,000 commercial flights, totalling more than 5,75,000 flight hours, according to Boeing.

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