China Raises "Important Concerns'' On Boeing's 737 Max Ungrounding Attempt

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) spokesman Liu Lusong told reporters that Beijing has raised "important concerns" with Boeing surrounding the ungrounding of the Boeing 737 Max, reported Reuters

"Boeing is currently upgrading its software to the 737 MAX, and it is still a work in progress. The CAAC has raised our important concerns on areas such as system reliability and safety assessment," Lusong told reporters at a monthly briefing on Thursday.

China was the first country to ground the 737 Max in Mar. after two crashes, one on Oct. 2018, and the other in Mar. 2019, killed a total of 346 people after both planes experienced similar mechanical issues relating to its flight control system. 

China created a task force in Apr. that will review final design changes submitted by Boeing before the plane is ungrounded. 

"We continue to work with the FAA, CAAC, and global regulators on addressing their concerns to return the MAX to service safely," Boeing said in a statement on Thursday.

Rob Morris, global head of consultancy at Ascend by Cirium, told Reuters that "Due to the trade war, the jury is still out on when China would reintroduce the aircraft." 

President Trump touted on Twitter on Oct. 12 that he made a trade deal with China. He said some "aspects of the deal are also great - technology, financial services, 16-20 Billion in Boeing Planes." But the continued grounding, now in its 10th month, could deter the Chinese from purchasing 737 Max planes in any upcoming trade deal.

Boeing has developed software fixes for the 737 Max, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has yet to approve the changes and could drag out well into 1H20. 

As China raises concerns about 737 Max software fixes and the ungrounding timeline, along with rising tensions in a trade war, Beijing could make the switch and start purchasing Airbus planes.