The United Arab Emirates cleared Boeing 737 Max jet to fly again in its airspace, marking another step toward the aircraft’s global return to service.
Local airlines must first provide a plan for bringing the plane back safely, and develop a strategy to address differences between requirements set by U.S. and European regulators, the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority said Wednesday in a statement.
Foreign operators of the Max need to provide a compliance statement from home regulators, along with evidence of required pilot training.
Clearance in the UAE is important for Boeing because the country serves as an international air-travel crossroads via hub airports in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It’s also home to state-owned Flydubai, which has ordered 251 Max jets as it pursues an aggressive regional expansion. Those planes are meant to feed into longer-distance flights by its partner Emirates, which is also government-owned.
Flydubai has idled 14 Boeing Max jets it had in March 2019, when the model was grounded worldwide in the wake of a second deadly crash in five months.