NEW DELHI: The Boeing 737 Max on Saturday resumed flying passengers in India after 2.5 years. “SpiceJet has resumed operating scheduled commercial flights from Saturday using the Max,” said a top aviation official. SpiceJet, the only Indian carrier that has Max at the moment, had conducted an “operational readiness” flight on a Max Friday. SpiceJet had 13 leased Max in India when the planes were globally grounded in March 2019. The required hardware and software modifications were carried out on them. and they will soon start flying commercially. Billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s Akasa has ordered 72 B737 Max which it will start getting in time for the planned launch in the summer of 2022. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had this August allowed the Max to fly again “upon satisfaction of applicable requirements for return to service” — meaning carrying out required changes to ensure safety. The max was globally grounded in March 2019 following two crashes — one of Indonesian Lion Air and another of Ethiopian Airlines — in quick succession. The two crashes had claimed the lives of 346 people on board these planes. Last year, Boeing finalised software and hardware modifications to ensure safety on the Max. These changes were vetted and approved by foreign aviation regulators, including those of the country of manufacture USA, EU, UAE, Singapore and UAE. India was among the last to approve the changes and allow modified Max to fly again, with China the only major country yet to clear it. “Worldwide 17 regulators have permitted operation of Boeing 737 Max airplane. A sizeable number of airlines (34) with B737 Max airplane (345) are operating currently… since the un-grounding from December 9, 2020, with no untoward reporting,” the Indian DGCA order of August 26, 2021, permitting the Max to fly again in the country says.