Australia clears SilkAir to fly globally grounded Boeing 737 Max to Alice Springs for storage

In a photo taken on March 12, 2019, a SilkAir Boeing 737 Max 8 plane (foreground) sits on the tarmac at Changi Airport. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Australia has given clearance for Singapore Airlines' SilkAir to fly its six Boeing 737 Max aircraft to the country for storage, as the global grounding of the jet continues following two deadly crashes within the past 12 months.

SilkAir has provided flight plans and the first aircraft is expected to arrive in Alice Springs, central Australia, on Monday (Sept 30), according to Mr Peter Gibson, a spokesman at the Australian government's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

The aircraft will be flown by experienced Boeing pilots using a "flight profile which ensures there can be no activation of MCAS", Mr Gibson said in an e-mail, referring to the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System feature linked to the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people.

The pilots have also received training in recovery actions in case an MCAS-related event occurs, Mr Gibson said.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has worked closely with aviation regulators in Singapore and Indonesia to review and coordinate the ferry flights, he said.

A Singapore Airlines representative said the company does not have information to share about the matter at this point.

It is still unclear when the Max 737 will resume scheduled flights as investigations by various authorities around the world are ongoing.

The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority said it is following flight profiles for ferrying the aircraft in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.