Ethiopian Airlines crash: India latest to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet; Over 40 countries ground the fleet after crash
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on March 12, 2019 midnight ordered to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft fleet in India with immediate effect following the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
Taking passenger safety as its top priority, India is constantly consulting the regulators around the world, airlines, and aircraft manufacturers to ensure passenger safety.
The Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet will be grounded until appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations.
India-based operator, Spice Jet has around 12 Boeing 737 Max 8' planes in its fleet, while Jet Airways has five in the country.
Ethiopian Airlines crash: Second accident involving the 737 Max 8 Model
The decision to ground this Boeing fleet came in the wake of Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10, 2019 in Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board including 4 Indians. The plane belonged to Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet.
It was the second fatal accident involving the 737 Max 8 model in less than five months. Earlier in October 2018, Indonesia ‘Lion Air’ flight crashed after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.
Which are the other countries to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet following the crash?
India joined the growing list of countries to have temporarily grounded the aircraft. Ethiopia, China, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom had earlier decided to suspend the Aircraft.
However, US Aviation officials differed, said that the 737 Max 8 is airworthy and that it is too early to reach any conclusions or take any action.
The United Kingdom on March 12, 2019 banned the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft from operating in or over national airspace following Ethiopia plane crash.
UK's Civil Aviation Authority said that it is closely monitoring the situation and the decision has been taken as a precautionary measure.
New Zealand also grounded the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from its airspace. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of New Zealand said that it was imposing the temporary suspension after consultation with other regulators.
A day after the Ethiopian Airlines crash, China suspended the commercial operation of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, citing the Ethiopian Airlines crash and another deadly accident of that same model in Indonesia.
Ethiopian Airlines grounded its Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet on March 11, 2019 after the crash.
Other countries and carriers that grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet
Apart from these countries, a slew of other countries and airlines across the world moved to ground Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
These are - European Union, Singapore, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, South Korea, Mongolia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Oman, United Arab Emirates Norwegian Air, South African airline Comair, Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas, Mexican carrier Aeromexico, Argentina's flagship carrier, Aerolineas Argentinas, and Cayman Airways.
Boeing 737 MAX aircraft
• The Boeing 737 MAX is an American narrow-body aircraft series designed and produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes as the fourth generation of the Boeing 737, succeeding the Boeing 737 Next Generation (NG).
• The Boeing 737 MAX family was designed to provide passengers with a comfortable flying experience and more direct routes to their favorite destinations.
• The unmatched reliability of the MAX assured that more 737 flights depart on time with fewer delays.
• The technological advances and its powerful LEAP-1B engines redefined the future of efficient and environmentally friendly air travel.
• The Boeing 737 MAX is the fastest selling fleet of Boeing that accumulated over 4500 orders from more than 100 customers across the world.