Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) organized a specific Aircraft Evaluation Group (AEG, part of CAAC’s Flight Standards Department) meeting about the Boeing 737 MAX in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, on September 14th. The purpose of the meeting was to review the aircraft training specifications of the 737 Series after the relevant improvements.

The 737 MAX has been grounded by the CAAC since March 2019. Photo: Boeing

The CAAC website reports that the CAAC will issue the second revision of the Aircraft Evaluation Report for the Boeing 737 Series after the questions raised during the meeting are resolved, and the process of resuming the introduction of the 737 MAX in China will be completed soon. The last revision of the Boeing 737 Series AEG report was issued in October 2017.

Boeing was in the meeting

The meeting was purposely arranged in Zhoushan, where the Boeing Zhoushan Completion and Delivery Center is located. According to the statement from CAAC, the participants of the meeting included persons from the following organizations:

CAAC Flight Standards Department Meeting Attendee
AEG center of China Academy of Civil Aviation Science and Technology Meeting Attendee
Flight and maintenance experts from relevant airlines Invited
Directors of operation inspectors and directors of maintenance inspectors from CAAC regional administration offices Invited
Boeing China, Boeing Zhoushan Completion and Delivery Center Supported the meeting locally
Boeing 737 Program and Technical team Online support from Seattle

All the local participants of the meeting visited the Boeing Zhoushan Completion and Delivery Center on the next day of the meeting, according to the same statement.

Odd timing for the latest events

It has been reported by Simple Flying that Boeing will begin to remarket some 737 MAX aircraft earmarked for Chinese customers. The statement was from two of the company’s top executives, Chief Executive Dave Calhoun and Chief Financial Officer Brian West, which was revealed last Thursday, September 15th.

It’s also reported that Calhoun said resuming 737 MAX deliveries in China was critical to Boeing’s future, but the prospect of selling planes to China in the near term (a year or two) was low.

GettyImages-1177753357 737 MAX China

Boeing’s CEO Calhoun said resuming 737 MAX deliveries in China was critical to Boeing’s future. Photo: Getty Images

Combined with the news today, it’s interesting to see the sequence of the events:

September 14th CAAC organized a specific AEG meeting for 737 MAX (not reported until the 20th)
September 15th Boeing announced that it would reassign multiple 737 MAX that was promised to Chinese buyers to other non-Chinese airlines
September 20th CAAC released the news of the meeting

There is no statement on why Boeing announced the reassigning decision one day after the CAAC AEG meeting. Before the CAAC released the news, the media interpreted it as Boeing could not wait indefinitely as little progress has been made from the CAAC since it issued an Airworthiness Derivative (CAD2021-B737-19) in December 2021.

However, as the news of the meeting went public, there might be more considerations behind Boeing’s decision to reassignment.

What do you think about the latest development of the 737 MAX in China? Do you think the delivery to Chinese airlines will be resumed soon as CAAC says? Or is there still a long way to go as Boeing’s CEO says? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.


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