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More countries ban Boeing 737 Max from flying

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

Photo Courtesy : Reuters

More countries have ordered airline companies to temporarily ground their Boeing 737 Max following the fatal crash in Ethopia that killed 157 passengers on board on Sunday, and a similar incident that happened five months ago in Indonesia which claimed 189 lives.

In New Zealand, the New Zealand Pilots’ Association (NZPA) welcomed the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand’s (CAA) decision to ban Boeing 737 Max planes from flying on Wednesday (March 13).

NZPA Pres. Tim Robinson stated, “So we support that decision. Clearly there is enough doubt in the CAA’s mind that they are taking a conservative approach to this one. I guess they are waiting to see the outcome of the incident that’s just occurred in Ethiopia and some of the initial findings from that.”

Robinson added, it is a safe decision to make, and they support it as pilot group.

In Turkey, all flights of Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 models have been suspended by Turkey’s Transport Ministry. The suspension came shortly after Turkish Airlines disclosed it suspended its 12 Boeing 737 Max aircrafts.

Moreover, several Turkish Airlines flights have been cancelled with two Boeing 737 Max en route from Istanbul to London returning to Ataturk Airport shortly after taking off.

European regulators, on their part, advised Norwegian Air to temporary ground the said aircraft.

“Following the decision by the relevant aviation regulatory bodies to temporarily suspend operations of Boeing 737 MAX, Norwegian will not operate any flights with this aircraft type until further notice,” the company said in a statement.

Suspension by respected European regulators was the worst setback yet for U.S. planemaker Boeing in the wake of Sunday’s (March 10) Ethiopia Airlines crash and put pressure on the United States to follow suit

In China, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang on Tuesday said, China won’t lift ban on Boeing 737-8 Max, unless safe travel confirmation of the aircraft is received.

“It is hard to give a detailed timetable before we get a reliable guarantee in case of any safety risks. I think it is also a responsible attitude to all passengers,” said Lu.

In Singapore, the said plane was temporarily suspended on Tuesday, March 12.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, the suspension affected the SilkAir, an arm of Singapore Airlines, as well as China Southern Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Shandong Airlines and Thai Lion Air.

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority followed Singapore’s lead after few hours, with a temporary suspension to review the risks, citing the best interests of safety.

Indonesia and China have already grounded their fleets of the U.S. planemaker’ s latest model after it suffered a second fatal crash in less than five months.

On Monday (March 11), the Argentine Airline Pilots Association mandated the pilots of Aerolineas Argentina, the only company in the country that operates 737 Max, not to perform service on flights operated by Boeing 737 Max.

Nearly 40 percent of the in-service fleet of Boeing 737 MAX jets globally is grounded, according to industry publication Flightglobal, including 97 jets in the biggest market, China. –— Freema Salonga-Gloria / Reuters