SpiceJet (SG, Delhi Int'l) is hoping to recertify its B737-8 aircraft and resume the type's operations by the end of the first quarter of 2021, sources told CNBC-TV18 broadcaster.

The Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has yet to issue any official guidance on the recertification of the Boeing narrowbodies currently in the country. According to sources, the Indian regulator is waiting for the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to issue final clearance rather than rely on the US Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) November directive.

That said, EASA is expected to greenlight the B737 MAX in its jurisdiction shortly. The European regulator published a draft directive recertifying the type in late November, mostly following steps taken by the FAA. Once the European regulator clears the MAX, the DGCA plans to conduct its own safety checks.

To alleviate the regulator's concerns on pilot training, Boeing last year set up a B737 MAX simulator at CAE's facility near New Delhi.

SpiceJet has thirteen grounded B737-8s. It also has an additional 129 units on direct order from Boeing and plans to take a total of 155 aircraft, including the thirteen already delivered. It is the only operator of the B737 MAX in India.

So far, the only airlines to have restarted scheduled B737 MAX operations are GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes, Aeroméxico, Copa Airlines, and American Airlines. WestJet and United Airlines plan to do so shortly. Besides EASA, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has also not yet cleared the MAX to return to commercial service. It has yet to issue even an indicative timeline or procedure for doing so.