The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) has lifted the suspension of Boeing 737 Max operations in Malaysia. According to the statement, the directive is applicable to all operators including both Malaysian and foreign airlines that fly the Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 into, within, or out of Malaysian airspace.
To recap, the 737 Max aircraft were barred from Malaysian airspace in March 2019 following the two deadly crashes involving the aircraft type flown by Ethiopian Airlines (Flight 302) and Lion Air (Flight 610) which claimed the lives of 346 people in total. Other countries have suspended the aircraft as well including Singapore, China, Indonesia and Australia.
After being grounded for close two years, the 737 Max has received clearance by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly again after Boeing addressed the issues related to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).
According to CAAM CEO Chester Voo, they have been closely monitoring the approval process and the extensive work undertaken by all parties involved particularly by Boeing and the US FAA. He said “CAAM recognised the work of the FAA as the State of Design and accepted the comprehensive return-to-service requirements set by the FAA for the Boeing 737 MAX.” Voo also said the CAAM has given its assurance that all aircraft operating in Malaysia complied with all regulatory, technical, and testing requirements.
It is worth highlighting that Malindo Air was the launch customer of the Boeing 737 Max 8 but the aircraft has been transferred to Lion Air. Following the 737 Max disaster, Malindo has issued a statement to confirm that it does not operate 737 Max aircraft in its fleet.
Back in 2016, Malaysia Airlines has placed an order for 25 units of the 737 Max 8. The following year, the national flag carrier placed an additional order for ten 737 Max 10 aircraft during the Paris Air Show. According to the aviation website Simple Flying, Malaysia has deferred its 737 Max deliveries until 2024 which will be done over a period of 3-4 years. Malaysia Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer Captain Izham Ismail said that they are committed to taking the 737 Max delivery in 2024 but they are also exploring the possibility of taking it earlier.