Several aviation authorities and airlines have launched investigations after a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft crashed in Ethiopia on Sunday and killed all 157 people on board.
The tragic incident is second to occur within the last six months after a new Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed within minutes of takeoff last October, killing 189 people.
Both crashes are being investigated. The similarity between the two incidents has pushed several airlines to stop their Boeing 737 Max 8 operations.
According to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), there are currently 350 Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes in operation worldwide, being flown by 54 operators.
Following the crash, Ethiopian Airlines has grounded the remaining four similar aircraft in its fleet as an “extra safety precaution.”
Indonesia has temporarily grounded all its Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes on Monday.
The country’s Directorate General of Air Transportation at the Ministry of Transportation said their operation will be resumed after the on-going inspection ensures that “aircraft operating in Indonesia are in an airworthy condition.”
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore has temporarily suspended the operation of all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the organization said they were “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.”
China’s Civil Aviation Administration has grounded all 737 MAX 8 airplanes on Monday, citing “zero tolerance for safety hazards.”
Chinese airlines including China Eastern, China Southern, and China Airlines, currently have 97 of the planes in their fleet, the state-run media reported.
Mexican airlines, Aeromexico, has also suspended the operations of its six 737 MAX 8 jets “until more thorough information on the investigation of flight ET302 accident can be provided.”
Comair Airways, of South Africa, said they would remove the planes from their flight schedule.
“While Comair has done extensive preparatory work prior to the introduction of the first 737 MAX 8 into its fleet and remains confident in the inherent safety of the aircraft, it has decided temporarily not to schedule the aircraft while it consults with other operators, Boeing and technical experts,” the South African airline said.
Aerolíneas Argentinas and Cayman Airways have also suspended commercial operations of their Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes until further notice.
Despite the panic created by the Sunday’s crash, several airlines are still flying their Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes.
American Airlines, which decided not to stop the operation of their 24 737 MAX 8 airplanes, said in a statement: “At this time there are no facts on the cause of the accident other than news reports.
“We have full confidence in the aircraft and our crew members, who are the best and most experienced in the industry.”
Similarly, Southwest Airlines would continue flying 34 of the planes.
“We remain confident in the safety and airworthiness of our fleet of more than 750 Boeing aircraft,” the airline said in a statement.
Canadian airline WestJet, which operates 121 Boeing 737s and 13 MAX 8s, said: “We are monitoring the situation closely and will not speculate on the cause of the incident.
“WestJet remains confident in the safety of our Boeing 737 fleet including our 13 MAX-8 aircraft first introduced in 2017.”
Flydubai will continue to operate its 11 Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes.
“We are monitoring the situation and continue to be in touch with Boeing… The safety of our passengers and crew is our first priority,” a statement from the airline said. “The aviation sector is highly regulated and Flydubai rigorously adheres to all regulations.”
Norwegian Airlines will also keep operating 18 of the aircraft.
Director of Flight Operations at Norwegian Airlines, Tomas Hesthammer, said in a statement: “We are in close dialogue with Boeing and follow their and the aviation authorities’ instructions and recommendations.
“Our passengers’ safety is and will always be our top priority.”
GOL Linhas Aéreas, TUI Aviation, Fiji Airways, and Icelandair will also continue operating their Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes.
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