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Brazil ends Boeing 737 MAX ban, planes could fly by year-end

Stock MarketsNov 25, 2020 05:30PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are seen parked at Boeing facilities at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake

By Allison Lampert and Rachit Vats

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian aviation regulator ANAC on Wednesday lifted the grounding of the Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737 MAX, following U.S. clearance of the jets for flight, after a redesign prompted by two fatal crashes that killed 346 people.

On Tuesday, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) set out conditions for putting the grounded jets back into service, including new training and updating MCAS software implicated in the crashes.

Brazil's top regulator said Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA, the only airline to operate the model in Brazil, is implementing the required measures to resume flights.

Gol said last week it could resume flying Boeing 737 MAX jets by year-end.

Some regulators have been waiting for EASA’s decision before lifting their own measures as the 20-month Boeing safety crisis tested confidence in U.S. aviation leadership.

ANAC superintendent of airworthiness José Roberto Honorato said the Brazilian regulator would apply the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) conditions for bringing the MAX back to service and downplayed differences between regulators.

EASA differed from the FAA in saying pilots could stop a “stick shaker” alarm from vibrating if it went off accidentally, halting a distraction thought to have added to the problems of the two crews in handling the fatal flights.

It also issued one temporary restriction on autopilot use, unlike the United States.

"Those differences are not unusual, especially in a complex aircraft project like the 737 MAX," he told Reuters. "We are not going to have differences to the FAA.”

EASA represents the 27 European Union countries plus four other nations including Norway, which has 92 of the aircraft on order. Until Dec. 31, EASA also represents Britain, which left the EU bloc in January.

Canada is expected to lift the ban as well, but uncertainty remains about China, the largest market for the jet and the first to ban it in March 2019.

U.S. flights are due to resume on Dec. 29, while in Europe the formal ungrounding will take place from mid-January.

Brazil ends Boeing 737 MAX ban, planes could fly by year-end
 

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