Sunday 26 May 2019

Boeing 737 MAX

33 countries ground Boeing MAX 8 jets amid global wave

ABU DHABI, March 13, 2019

After two of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets crashed within six months, 33 countries including 28 from the European Union and nearly 30 airlines have suspended operation of the fuel-efficient aircraft in the span of two days, media reports said.

The European Union aviation authority banned flight operations of Boeing 737 Max jets, a huge blow to Boeing's efforts to maintain the confidence of governments and airlines, reported Emirates news agency Wam, citing an AP report.

The US and Canada are still allowing the aircraft to operate until more information is available from the FAA, a BBC report said.

Kuwait too has halted operation of all Boeing 737 Max 8 flights until further notice, stated the report citing the Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The DGCA pointed out that the action was taken after two planes of the same type crashed in the past five months, adding that the ban applies to all Boeing 737 Max 8 flights, including those in transit.

The suspensions come after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed on March 10, killing 157 people on board. It was the second fatal accident involving the 737 Max 8 model in less than five months.

Meanwhile, the US Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union has now called for the Federal Aviation Administration "to temporarily ground the 737 Max fleet in the US out of an abundance of caution", the BBC report said.

India's Ministry of Civil Aviation announced that it would ground the Boeing 737-Max planes "immediately".

It said: "These planes will be grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations."

It following a similar decision by the EU Aviation Safety Agency which said it is suspending the aircraft "as a precautionary measure". India's SpiceJet, which has an estimated 13 Boeing 737 Max 8 planes in its fleet, has suspended the aircraft.

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it was banning the plane, joining other countries including China.

Investigators have recovered the flight recorders from the Ethiopian Airlines plane and are currently examining the data to determine what caused the crash.

One Turkish Airlines flight to Birmingham turned around and returned to Istanbul, while a Norwegian Air plane from Stockholm to Tel Aviv turned back over Romania. A Tui statement confirmed their 737 Max 8 aircraft were grounded.

"Any customers due to fly home today on a 737 Max 8 from their holiday will be flown back on another aircraft," it read. "Customers due to travel in the coming days will also travel on holiday as planned on other aircraft."

Meanwhile, Boeing said in a statement on its website: “Safety is Boeing’s number one priority and we have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX. We understand that regulatory agencies and customers have made decisions that they believe are most appropriate for their home markets.”

“We’ll continue to engage with them to ensure they have the information needed to have confidence in operating their fleets. The United States Federal Aviation Administration is not mandating any further action at this time, and based on the information currently available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators,” it added.


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