SpiceJet signs Boeing 737 MAX deal ahead of approval

SpiceJet said it signed yet another leasing agreement for an unspecified number of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which were pulled out of service in early 2019 following accidents and mishaps.

The American aviation regulator was the first to re-approve the aircraft for operations in November last year, followed by Canadian and European authorities in January this year.

The latest agreement follows another deal by SpiceJet less than a month ago with Dublin-based Avolon to lease 737 MAX aircraft. Today, it said it reached a similar agreement with CDB Aviation, another major lessor of MAX aircraft.

“This will add to already announced settlement with Avolon and grow its fleet of 737 MAX aircraft. The airline expects to start operations of MAX aircraft around the end of September 2021, subject to regulatory approvals,” it added.

The ban on flying the aircraft was lifted on condition of implementing changes to a key software in the plane as well as augmented pilot training to handle the aircraft.

Boeing has come under intense scrutiny after MAX crashes that resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives.

A statement issued by the US government in January this year faulted Boeing for “deceiving” the US aviation authorities with regard to a software called “Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS)”, and this had an impact on the flight control system of the Boeing 737 MAX.

“Because of their deception, a key document published by the FAA AEG lacked information about MCAS, and in turn, airplane manuals and pilot-training materials for U.S.-based airlines lacked information about MCAS,” a US government agency said.

Meanwhile, there’s no clarify on whether these aircraft are allowed to be used in India.

However, SpiceJet said it was hopeful of injecting these into its fleet once the regulator shows the green signal.