NAIROBI, KENYA: Countries and airlines around the globe have grounded Boeing’s 737-8 aircraft in response to the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all the 157 passengers on board.
The ill-fated Ethiopia Airline plane was similar to Indonesian Lion Air, which crashed on October killing all 189 passengers and crew.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) on Monday ordered its airlines to suspend their Boeing’s Co 737 Max aircraft saying “two accidents both involved newly delivered Boeing 737-8 planes and happened during take-off phase, they have some degree of similarity,”
Ethiopian Airlines said on its Twitter account on Monday that it has grounded its Boeing Co 737 MAX 8 fleet until further notice.
“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,” it said.
Singapore said, on Monday, it is suspending all Boeing 737-8 flights in its airspace from Tuesday.
Equally, Indonesia said it was grounding its 11 jets of the 737-8 models.
Other airlines around the world that have grounded the model include Brazil’s Gol Airlines, South African airline Comair and Mexico’s Aeromexico.
European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said on Wednesday it was suspending all flights in the bloc by the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 jets.
However, some countries and airlines have issued statements in support of the plane.
UAE budget airline Flydubai said it remains confident in the airworthiness of the aircraft.
The United States said the plane was airworthy and did not need to be grounded, but it ordered that Boeing Co implement design changes by April. The design changes that have been in the works for months for the 737 MAX 8 fleet after a fatal crash in October.
Boeing confirmed the Federal Aviation Administration’s announcement late Monday that it will deploy a software upgrade across the 737 MAX 8 fleet “in the coming weeks” as pressure mounted.
The company confirmed it had for several months “been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737-8, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer.”
Boeing rolled out the fuel-efficient MAX 8 in 2017 as an update to the already redesigned 50-year-old 737 and had delivered 350 MAX jets out of the total order tally of 5,011 aircraft by the end of January.
Of the top 10 countries by air passenger travel, all but the United States and Japan have halted flights of the 737 MAX. China, Indonesia, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, India and others have temporarily suspended the plan.
Additional information: Reuters
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