Following the last Oct crash of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane from Indonesian Lion Air and Sunday’s (10 Mar) crash of the same model from Ethiopian Airlines, a number of countries and airlines have also grounded their Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes.
The 2 planes were seen to have crashed under similar circumstances, spooking airlines and customers. The list of countries and airlines grounding the Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes is mounting.
Yesterday (11 Mar), China ordered all of its domestic airlines to suspend commercial operation of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, citing safety concerns. China’s Civil Aviation Administration said operation of the model would only resume after “confirming the relevant measures to effectively ensure flight safety”.
In Indonesia, after the Lion Air crash last Oct, the authority grounded 11 jets of the 737 MAX 8 type. The planes would remain grounded until they were cleared by safety regulators, Indonesian director general of air transport told the media. Ten of Indonesia’s Max 8 jets are operated by Lion Air while the other is flown by Garuda.
South Korea’s transport ministry said that the two Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes operated by the country’s budget airline Eastar Jet would be grounded pending an inspection.
The Mongolian Civil Aviation Authority said on Facebook it had ordered the state carrier MIAT Mongolian Airlines to ground the sole Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in its fleet.
Ethiopian Airlines said on Monday it had grounded its Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet until further notice, following Sunday’s tragedy. “Although we don’t yet know the cause of the accident, we have to decide to ground the particular fleet as an extra safety precaution,” said the airline, Africa’s largest.
South African airline Comair also said it had “decided to remove its 737 MAX from its flight schedule”.
Cayman Airways said it would suspend flights for its two 737 MAX 8 planes “until more information is received”.
Brazilian airline Gol announced in a statement yesterday (11 Mar) that it was temporarily suspending commercial operations for its seven Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. It said it was doing everything possible to allow it to resume the grounded flights as soon as possible.
Mexican airline Aeromexico said it had suspended the operation of its six Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes until it had clear information about the investigation into Sunday’s crash. “Flights operated with these planes will be covered by the rest of the fleet,” it said.
Singapore ups the ante
Singapore’s regulator CAAS has up the ante by banning all variants of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of the country, it announced today (12 Mar).
“The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is temporarily suspending operation of all variants of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of Singapore in light of two fatal accidents involving Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in less than five months,” it said in a statement. The suspension will take effect from 2pm today, the regulator said.
“During the temporary suspension, CAAS will gather more information and review the safety risk associated with the continued operation of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of Singapore,” it said.
“CAAS is closely monitoring the situation and is in close communication with the US Federal Aviation Administration and other aviation regulators, as well as Boeing.”
SilkAir, which operates six of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, said its flights have been affected.