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Chinese aircraft lessor halts 737 MAX orders

By Yang Yang | | Updated: 2019-04-09 13:28
A Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplane at the Boeing factory in Renton, Washington on March 7, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings has put its order for 100 Boeing 737 MAX jets temporarily on hold until assurances of the aircraft's safety can be made, South China Morning Post reported on Monday.

CALC, the Hong Kong-listed lessor controlled by State-owned conglomerate China Everbright Group, ordered 50 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in June 2017 and another 25 in December with an option for 25 more.

The first jet was originally scheduled to be delivered to CALC in the third quarter this year and continue through 2023.

Purchasing has been temporarily halted and the payments have been stopped, the report said quoting Chen Shuang, chairman of CALC and chief executive of China Everbright, the financial arm of China Everbright Group.

The MAX has been grounded by regulators around the world after two aircraft of the same type were involved in two fatal crashes — one on March 10 operated by Ethiopian Airlines and the other on Oct 29 on a Lion Air flight, which claimed 346 lives altogether.

A joint Authorities Technical Review team will be set up to evaluate the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX. China's aviation regulator will also join the task force to guarantee passenger safety.

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