List of countries banning Boeing 737 Max grows - EU and UAE latest
A number of countries have banned the Boeing 737 Max-8 airliner from their national airspace following the Ethiopian Airlines crash earlier this week, in which there were no survivors.
While the investigation into the crash is still in its early stages, the accident is the latest incident involving a 737 Max 8 aircraft within the last five months. In October 2018, Lion Air Flight JT 160 crashed into the Java Sea roughly 13 minutes into the flight.
All 189 people on board were killed in that crash as well.
In addition to involving the same aircraft type, both incidents bear similarities in terms of the crash model. These two factors contributed to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC’s) decision to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
Several airlines including Ethiopian Airlines, Cayman Airlines, Comair in South Africa, and Lionair were the first to ground their 737 Max fleets, while a number of countries have now banned the aircraft from their airspace entirely.
China was first, followed by Singapore, Oman, Malaysia and Australia, with the United Kingdom joining the list on Tuesday afternoon, and the European Union and United Arab Emirates following suit Wednesday.
These national moves have affected several dozen airlines flying the 737 Max model.
Tui Airways and Norwegian both operate the Boeing Max 8 in the UK as part of their fleets, while flydubai has ten 737 Max models in operation, and 240 on order.
"The UK Civil Aviation Authority has been closely monitoring the situation, however, as we do not currently have sufficient information from the flight data recorder we have, as a precautionary measure, issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace," a CAA statement said.
The FAA in the United States, meanwhile, has indicated that while it has not grounded the 737 Max model, it does want Boeing to introduce critical software update for its 737 Max 8 aircraft.
As per the order, the aerospace manufacturer will need to improve its anti-stall software, along with aircraft’s manoeuvring system by April 2019.
In the United States, Southwest Airlines has the largest fleet of 737s in the US. It has kept the 737 Max model in operation, but is offering customers booked on flights using the jet the chance to change their reservation.
With 350 built as of January 2019, the 737 MAX 8 is a fairly new addition to the world of aviation. Featuring 210 seats and a range of 3,550nm, the first 737 Max 8 was delivered to Malindo Air back in 2017.