No Australian airlines operate the 737 MAX, but Fiji Airways and Singapore Airlines Ltd operated them on flights to Australia before the craft were grounded in March 2019 after two deadly crashes.
Crawford said it was unclear when those airlines would resume flights to Australia given the disruption by COVID-19 to international air travel.
Fiji Airways and Singapore Airlines will also need to approval to fly from their national aviation regulators and from others where they need to use the airspace.
A Fiji Airways spokesman said it was still working with other regulators in the region, including those in Fiji and New Zealand, before returning the 737 MAX to service.
New Zealand's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it had worked closely with counterparts in Australia and Singapore on the return of the 737 MAX in New Zealand.
"The CAA will not issue a blanket approval for the Boeing 737 MAX to fly into New Zealand but will work with any future operators on a case-by-case basis to clear flight operations into New Zealand," the CAA said, noting Fiji Airways was still restricting international flights due to COVID-19.
Singapore's aviation regulator did not respond immediately to a request for comment. Singapore Airlines said it would continue to work with and be guided by regulators on Boeing 737 MAX operations.
Regulators in the United States, Europe, Britain, Canada, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates are among those that have already approved the jet's return to flight following technical modifications and additional pilot training.
China was the first country globally to ban the 737 MAX from its airspace in 2019 and it has not indicated when it will lift the ban.
Boeing said on Friday it was working with regulators and customers to return the 737 MAX to service safely worldwide.
Virgin Australia has 25 of the planes on order but they are not due for delivery until mid-2023.
(This story corrects headline, paragraph 1 to remove reference to Australia being first nation in Asia-Pacific region)
(Reporting by Jamie Freed; Additional reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Edwina Gibbs and Gerry Doyle)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.