Canada plans to become the last country to re-authorize Boeing’s 737 MAX after two fatal crashes left the plane on the ground in 2019.
Canada said on Monday it would lift a nearly two-year flight ban on Boeing Co’s 737 MAX on January 20, joining other countries like the United States that brought the plane back after two fatal crashes.
The regulator, Transport Canada, also said in a statement that it issued an airworthiness directive on Monday, as well as an interim order that sets out requirements for airlines for additional crew training.
Canada said in December that it plans to lift its ban on the airliner in January after approving design changes to the plane, which was grounded in March 2019 following two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia which killed 346 people in total.
In early December, the Brazilian company GOL Airlines became the first in the world to return planes to its active fleet.
Later that month, American Airlines resumed passenger flights with the 737 MAX in the United States after the Federal Aviation Administration approved changes made by Boeing to an automated flight control system involved in crashes.
In both collisions, the system repeatedly nose-down based on faulty sensor readings, and the pilots were unable to regain control.
Regulators in Europe have also allowed airlines to resume use of the aircraft if they make certain changes and provide additional training for pilots.
Despite an increase in orders in December, Chicago-based Boeing still reported more cancellations than new orders for the 737 MAX.
The new aircraft market remains depressed by the coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated air travel and prompted airlines to reconsider their aircraft purchases. Despite the December figures, Boeing’s annual figures for 2020 have consistently declined compared to 2019.
Boeing ended 2020 with 157 deliveries, including planes handed over to freight airlines and military customers. This was down from 380 deliveries in 2019.
Deliveries are crucial because aircraft manufacturers receive a large chunk of their money when planes are delivered. Running out of cash during the MAX grounding, Boeing borrowed billions and cut thousands of jobs to cut costs.