Boeing faces another setback as the resumption of 737 MAX jet deliveries to China encounters new delays following the recent Alaska Airlines incident. Sources revealed to the Wall Street Journal that China Southern Airlines, slated to receive Boeing aircraft this month, is now planning additional safety inspections. This decision comes despite the ordered planes being a different model from the MAX 9, whose door exploded mid-flight. The duration of these supplementary inspections is unknown, adding uncertainty to delivery timelines that had already been frozen by Beijing for years following the two fatal incidents involving the 737 MAX 8. So far, the Chinese aviation regulatory authority has not commented on the Alaska Airlines incident.

Safety Checks Extended to Fleets The Chinese aviation regulatory authority has instructed the country’s airlines to conduct precautionary safety inspections on their Boeing 737 MAX fleets. Boeing, China Southern, and the Civil Aviation Administration of China have not provided comments on the matter. The resumption of 737 MAX jet deliveries is a crucial step for Boeing to revive its business in China, as this market is expected to represent one-fifth of global aircraft deliveries in the next two decades.

Impact of U.S.-China Relations The delay marks yet another setback for Boeing in China, following years of challenges due to the turbulent relations between the United States and China, which inevitably impacted businesses in both countries. Bilateral relations had seen a semblance of stability after the meeting between President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in November, although they remain delicate after the outcome of the Taiwan elections.

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