American Airlines is now preparing to re-enter its fleet of 24 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes into service.
The Boeing 737 MAX is back in the air after fatal crashes (2020)
02:17 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

A Boeing 737 Max 8 took off in China on Friday, for the first time since the government grounded all 737 Max 8 planes in 2019, according to the flight tracking website, Flightradar24.

In March 2019, Chinese aviation authorities instructed airlines in the country to ground all their Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, citing the need for “strict control of safety risks.” The decision followed two 737 Max 8 crashes in Ethiopia in 2019 and Indonesia in 2018.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 that took off Friday is operated by China Southern Airlines and traveled from Guangzhou to Zhengzhou, according to Flightradar24. The flight comes as the Chinese travel market is recovering after the country abandoned zero-Covid policies.

In September, Boeing and its former CEO Dennis Muilenburg agreed to pay hefty fines to settle charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission alleging they misled the public about the safety of the 737 Max following the two fatal crashes.

The SEC had alleged that, following an October 2018 crash of a Lion Air 737 Max jet that killed 189 people, Boeing and Muilenburg knew that part of the plane’s flight control system posed an ongoing safety concern yet told the public that the 737 Max was safe to fly.

After a March 10, 2019 fatal 737 Max crash, the SEC alleged that Boeing and Muilenburg knowingly misled the public about “slips” and “gaps” in the certification process of that flight control system.

- CNN’s David Goldman contributed to this report