Countries, Carriers Ban Operations of Boeing 737 Max

Published March 13th, 2019 - 07:52 GMT
An Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 bound for Nairobi crashed minutes after take-off on Sunday, killing all 157 aboard. (AFP)
An Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 bound for Nairobi crashed minutes after take-off on Sunday, killing all 157 aboard. (AFP)

A growing number of airlines around the world have grounded their Boeing737Max 8 jets following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that killed 157 people on Sunday, five months after a similar Indonesian Lion Air jet plunged into the ocean, killing 189.

Here is a list of airlines and countries that have grounded the aircraft so far.

UAE

The United Arab Emirates has barred the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 from its airspace following the crash of a similar jetliner in Ethiopia.

The Emirates' General Civil Aviation administration made the announcement late Tuesday night.  It cited the similarities between Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines flight and another by Indonesia's Lion Air last year for its decision.

The budget carrier FlyDubai, owned by the Dubai government, uses the aircraft as a workhorse of its fleet. FlyDubai said in a statement "is adjusting its schedule to minimise disruption to passengers."

It flies 11 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and two MAX 9s.

Europe

The European Aviation Safety Agency has issued a directive grounding all Boeing 737-8 "MAX" and 737-9 model aircraft following two recent accidents.

EASA said in its emergency airworthiness directive Tuesday that "at this early stage" of the most recent investigation, "it cannot be excluded that similar causes may have contributed to both events."

"Based on all available information, EASA considers that further actions may be necessary to ensure the continued airworthiness of the two affected models."

It says companies may make one noncommercial flight to return their planes to a location where they can be inspected. The grounding applies to all European Union airspace.

Kuwait

Kuwait Civil Aviation banned Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft from its air space following the Ethiopian Airways crash, state news agency KUNA said.

The civil aviation authority said in press release that "the operation of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircrafts has been suspended for all flights including overflights until further notice."

Australia

Australia on Tuesday barred Boeing737Max planes from its airspace, joining a host of countries which have blocked the model after the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash at the weekend.

"This is a temporary suspension while we wait for more information to review the safety risks of continued operations of the Boeing737Max to and from Australia," Shane Carmody, CEO of Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority, said in a statement. "CASA regrets any inconvenience to passengers but believes it is important to always put safety first."

Fiji Airlines is the only 737Max operator affected by the Australian ban, according to CASA.

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Argentina 

Argentina's flagship carrier has joined airlines that have grounded their Boeing737Max 8 planes after the crash in Ethiopia. 

Aerolineas Argentinas said late Monday it had ordered the suspension as it awaited the result of investigations into the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines plane, which killed all 157 aboard.

"For Aerolineas Argentinas, safety is the most important value," the company said in a statement on the grounding of its five 737Max 8 planes, out of a total fleet of 82. 

Brazil

Brazil's Gol Airlines has suspended the use of 121 Max 8 jets. The airline said it is following the investigation of the Max 8 closely and hopes to return the aircraft to use as soon as possible. Gol said it has made nearly 3,000 flights with the Max 8, which went into service last June, with "total security and efficiency."  

Cayman Islands

Cayman Airways, a Caribbean carrier, said it stopped using its two Max 8 jets starting Monday. President and CEO Fabian Whorms said the airline is committed to "putting the safety of our passengers and crew first." Whorms said the move will cause changes to flight schedules. Cayman is the flag carrier of Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory. It received its first Max 8 in November and its second earlier this month.   

South Korea

South Korea on Tuesday became the latest country to suspend operations of Boeing737MAX 8 aircraft, the model involved in the Ethiopian Airlines crash. 

"We have advised Eastar Jet, the only South Korean airline that owns the B737-8 (two aircraft) - the same model involved in the Ethiopian Airlines crash - to ground them," the land, infrastructure and transport ministry said. 

"Eastar Jet has agreed to do so, and told us it will suspend the aircraft's operations starting Wednesday," it said in a statement. 

China 

China has 96 Max 8 jets in service, belonging to carriers such as Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines. The civilian aviation authority directed the planes to be grounded indefinitely on Monday. It said the order was "taken in line with the management principle of zero tolerance for security risks." There were eight Chinese citizens on the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed shortly after taking off on Sunday. The authority said it will consult the US Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing before deciding when to lift the ban.

Ethiopia 

A spokesman for Ethiopian Airlines says it will ground its remaining four Max 8 jets as an "extra safety precaution" while it investigates Sunday's deadly crash. Asrat Begashaw said investigations and the search for bodies and aircraft debris will continue. The airline is awaiting the delivery of 25 more Max 8 jets.

India

India's civil aviation regulator late on Tuesday suspended the operations of Boeing 737-800 MAX aircraft, after several other countries restrained their airlines from operating the aircraft type.

In a late night development, the Ministry of Civil Aviation tweeted: "DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) has taken the decision to ground the Boeing 737-MAX planes immediately. These planes will be grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations."

"As always, passenger safety remains our top priority. We continue to consult closely with regulators around the world, airlines and aircraft manufacturers to ensure passenger safety."

In India, SpiceJet and Jet Airways operate 17 Boeing 737-800 MAX aircraft. While SpiceJet has 12 aircraft, Jet has five planes of this type.

Indonesia

Indonesia says it will temporarily ground Max 8 jets to inspect their airworthiness. Director General of Air Transportation Polana B. Pramesti said the move was made to ensure flight safety. A Lion Air model of the same plane crashed in Indonesia in October. Indonesian airlines operate 11 Max 8 jets. Lion Air, which owns 10 of them, said it will try to minimize the impact of the decision on operations. The other Max 8 jet belongs to national carrier Garuda.

Mexico

Mexican airline Aeromexico has suspended flights of its six Max 8 jets after the crash in Ethiopia. Aeromexico said it "fully" trusts the safety of its fleet but ordered the grounding to ensure "the safety of its operations and the peace of mind of its customers." It said other planes will take over the routes usually flown by the Max 8.

Singapore

Singapore has temporarily banned Max 8 jets - and other models in the Max range - from entering and leaving the country. The civil aviation authority said it was "closely monitoring the situation" and the ban will be "reviewed as relevant safety information becomes available." It added that it was in close communication with the FAA, Boeing and other aviation authorities. SilkAir, a regional carrier owned by Singapore Airlines, has six Max 8 jets. It said the ban "will have an impact on some of the airline's flight schedules." The authority said flights to Singapore by China Southern Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Shandong Airlines and Thai Lion Air will also be affected. 

Oman

Oman on March 12 stopped Boeing Co 737 MAX aircraft from flying to or from the Sultanate. The Public Authority for Civil Aviation "is temporarily suspending operations of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of all Omani airports until further notice," it said in a tweet.

United Kingdom

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority has banned the Boeing 737 MAX from operating in or over UK airspace "as a precautionary measure". In a move that was welcomed by British pilots, the CAA said the directive would remain in place until further notice.


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