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SpiceJet resumes Boeing 737 MAX operations after a 32-month grounding

NEW DELHI, Nov 22: SpiceJet has officially resumed passenger operations with the Boeing 737 MAX after a 32-month grounding following two major accidents involving the MAX version.

The Gurgaon-based airline had on Friday conducted a test flight of the refurbished Boeing 737 MAX before passenger services began on Saturday morning with a flight from Delhi to Varanasi carrying its employees. The carrier’s first MAX 8, VT-MXH, undertook a one-hour test flight on Friday from Delhi to Jaipur.

SpiceJet had 13 leased Maxes when it was grounded in March 2019 globally after computer glitches led to the major accidents that resulted in heavy casualties. Hardware and software modifications have now been carried out by the company.

The DGCA had approved resumption of MAX services on August 26. Other Indian carriers too are getting ready to resume MAX flight. So also 17 overseas regulators have permitted operation of the Boeing model. Currently, 34 airlines are flying 345 B737 Maxes. However, SpiceJet has not made any announcement to passengers about the return of the MAX. In other countries, airlines inform passengers about the carrier they will fly.

The development followed a settlement between the airline and the Boeing company over the losses due to the grounding of the MAX following the glitches which led to the crashes.

Meanwhile, billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s Akasa Air has placed an order for 72 Boeings. The new airlines will take off early next year.

The MAXes were globally grounded in March 2019 following two crashes of Indonesian Lion Air and Ethiopian Airline killing 346 people due to computer and harware glitches.

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