Air India Express : The United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken a significant step by ordering the suspension of the manufacturing expansion of Boeing’s controversial 737 Max aircraft. This decision is anticipated to have a substantial impact on leading Indian airlines, particularly Air India Express and Akasa Air.
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Air India Express Face Potential Delays
Multiple Indian aviation companies, including Air India Express, SpiceJet, and Akasa Air, had previously placed orders for the Boeing 737 Max aircraft. However, these orders may encounter delays ranging from several months to a year due to identified defects in the manufacturing process of the passenger plane.
Boeing Faces Scrutiny over Quality Concerns
Boeing’s aircraft manufacturing practices have come under intense scrutiny, especially after a panel of the 737 Max aircraft malfunctioned mid-air during an Alaska Airlines flight earlier this month. This incident prompted thorough inspections and an investigation into the overall manufacturing quality and machine parts of Boeing planes.
History of Issues with Boeing 737 Max
According to the probe, Boeing 737 Max passenger planes have a history of reporting minor problems in the panels and other manufacturing defects. The aircraft model had previously been grounded following two crashes in 2018 and 2019, resulting in over 340 casualties.
FAA’s Stance on Production Expansion
In a statement, the FAA declared, “We will not agree to any request from Boeing for an expansion in production or approve additional production lines for the 737 MAX until we are satisfied that the quality control issues uncovered during this process are resolved.”
Impact on Indian Airlines’ Orders
Prior to the FAA’s announcement, Indian airlines such as Air India Express, SpiceJet, and Akasa Air had placed substantial orders for hundreds of Boeing 737 Max passenger aircraft. For instance, as part of a $70 million deal, Air India Express ordered 181 737 Max aircraft in 2023, while Akasa Air and SpiceJet have orders for 204 and 142 Max jets, respectively. The potential delay in the delivery of these orders is expected to disrupt the expansion plans of these Indian airlines.