A Boeing 737 MAX test plane performed an apparent test flight yesterday in China as the Seattle plane maker hopes to get the beleaguered jet in the Chinese skies.
Flight-tracking website Flightradar24 showed a 737 MAX 7 test plane taking off from Shanghai's Pudong International Airport at 9:24 a.m. (0124 GMT), with no destination listed, flying in a south-easterly direction.
The flight tracking was incomplete, but photos on Chinese aviation blogs showed it landed at Zhoushan Putuoshan Airport, about 150 km (80 nautical miles) to the south, which industry sources told Reuters was the expected destination.
Boeing said it was continuing to work with global regulators as they complete their validation processes on the model and declined to comment specifically on the test flight in China.
About 30 airlines and 175 countries have allowed the 737 MAX to return to service following a nearly two-year safety ban after crashes five months apart killed 346 people, plunging Boeing into a financial crisis since compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.
Boeing's 737 MAX remains grounded in China, where trade tensions between Washington and Beijing have cut off sales for years, although Chief Executive Dave Calhoun said last month he still expected the 737 MAX to win approval before year-end.
Boeing is pushing to get the MAX back in the sky worldwide and spur sales.
Southwest Airlines is committed to the single-aisle jet when they announced an order for 34 of the planes a month ago.