BEIJING: China’s aviation regulator will not yet allow a struggling Boeing 737 MAX to fly through the company’s largest market due to safety concerns, despite the United States lifting a ban on commercial flights.
Boeing, the world’s best-selling aircraft, was shut down early last year after two accidents that killed 346 passengers.
Since then it has faced lengthy testing and approval processes with aviation regulators around the world.
But the China Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) said on Friday that there was no “specific timetable” for resuming flights, according to state-run CCTV radio, dealing a blow to the aircraft maker.
China was the first to stop aircraft flights.
The regulator added that the results of investigations into fatal accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia “must be clear” and that aircraft design improvements must be “effective” and “approved.”
The US Federal Aviation Administration approved the commercial flight operations of the aircraft on Wednesday.
The collisions are believed to be related to a faulty stopping prevention system called MCAS, according to results from accident investigations.
Feng Chenglin, CAAC director, said in October that China’s immediate halt of the aircraft was on the basis of a “zero tolerance” for potential safety risks.
Boeing said last week it expects China to buy more than 8,600 new aircraft worth $ 1.4 trillion in the next two decades, raising its forecast as domestic travel in China recovered to pre-outbreak levels.