November 13, 2019 / 7:06 AM / 25 days ago

Indonesia waiting on major global aviation regulators for return of 737 MAX: official

FILE PHOTO: An aerial photo shows Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at Boeing facilities at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, September 16, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia will not approve the return of the Boeing Co (BA.N) 737 MAX to its skies until after aviation regulators in the United States, Europe, Brazil, Canada and China do so, an official at Indonesia’s aviation regulator said.

A Lion Air 737 MAX crashed shortly after take-off from Jakarta last year, killing all 189 people on board, and the model was grounded globally following a second deadly crash in Ethiopia in March this year.

Indonesian investigators last month released a final report into the Lion Air crash that included recommendations to Boeing, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the airline on improving safety practices.

Boeing has been working to secure regulatory approval for proposed changes to an anti-stall system linked to both crashes before the model can resume flying.

“Indonesia is waiting for FAA and other big countries to recertify MAX,” Sokhib Al Rokhman, head of the airworthiness and aircraft subdirectorate at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told reporters in Jakarta on Wednesday.

“We are also increasing our cooperation with ASEAN countries once FAA publishes the recertification,” he said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Boeing on Monday said it expected U.S. regulators to approve the 737 MAX’s return to commercial service in the coming weeks but Europe’s aviation regulator has indicated it will take longer.

Indonesia’s decision on when to let 737 MAX jets fly in its airspace could have implications beyond local operators Lion Air and Garuda Indonesia (GIAA.JK).

Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIAL.SI) has said approvals by Indonesia and China might be needed before it returns regional arm Silkair’s six 737 MAX jets to service, based on the routes they fly.

Reporting by Jessica Damiana in Jakarta, writing by Jamie Freed; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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