Boeing delivered its first 737 Max to a Chinese airline since March 2019 on Wednesday, flight data showed, ending an almost five-year freeze on imports of the U.S. planemaker's most profitable product in a respite for severely strained trade relations between the world's two largest economies.

The delivery represents a vote of confidence for Boeing at a difficult period for the planemaker following a Jan. 5 mid-air cabin blowout during a full flight. No one was killed in the incident, but regulators and industry insiders are applying new scrutiny to the planemaker's manufacturing and quality-control processes as a result.

The delivery is a rare bit of positive news of late for Boeing, as it symbolizes the reopening of doors to China, one of the fastest-growing aerospace markets, which the company projects will account for 20% of the world's aircraft demand through 2042.