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Boeing says return of SpiceJet's 737 MAX to air unlikely before December

Mumbai: Boeing India Pvt Ltd today said delivery of 737 MAX aircraft to SpiceJet and return of grounded planes of the airline depend on the approval of the country's civil aviation regulator, which could stretch beyond December.

Boeing India had earlier indicated to their customers, including SpiceJet, that they aim to bring the 737 MAX to service by the end of the current year (Jan-Dec). However, Salil Gupte, president of Boeing India, said the delivery could stretch beyond December.

"It really depends upon how soon we get the approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, " he said.

Boeing's 737 MAX jetliners were grounded by DGCA on Mar 13 after aviation regulators worldwide, including the US Federal Aviation Administration, had grounded the planes following two crashes, one of Ethiopian Airlines in March, and another of Lion Air in 2018.

Apart from 13 aircraft of SpiceJet that were grounded earlier, the airline has a pipeline of 205 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

Boeing India said it is developing necessary training programmes for 737 MAX aircraft in its home-country after the US Federal Aviation Administration in June said it found "potential risk that Boeing must mitigate"