A growing number of countries and airlines are grounding Boeing 737 MAX 8s in the wake of Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash – the second fatal crash to involve the new model of aircraft in five months.
Ethiopian Airlines flight 303 bound for Nairobi crashed six minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. Another Boeing 737 MAX 8, owned by Indonesian carrier Lion Air, went down in October, killing 189. In both cases, the pilot had reported difficulties and requested permission to turn back.
The Max 8 has become a popular new model for Boeing since its entry into commercial service in 2017, with more than 300 currently in operation and over 5,000 ordered worldwide.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Authority issued a global notice of “continued airworthiness” on Monday night. “External reports are drawing similarities between this accident and the Lion Air Flight 610 accident on October 29, 2018. However, this investigation has just begun and to date we have not been provided data to draw any conclusions or take any actions,” the agency said.
A growing number of American politicians, including Sen. Mitt Romney, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, have begun to call for the planes to be grounded in the U.S.
“Until the cause of the crash is known and it’s clear that similar risks aren’t present in the domestic fleet, I believe all Boeing 737 Max 8 series aircraft operating in the United States should be temporarily grounded,” Feinstein wrote in a statement.
Countries that have grounded the Boeing 737 MAX 8
As investigators begin to work to determine the cause of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, at least 13 countries have temporarily banned the use of the MAX 8 in their airspaces and at least 26 airlines have temporarily stopped flying them.
China was the first country to ban the model on Monday. The Civil Aviation Administration of China ordered all domestic airlines to ground the MAX 8. “Considering the two accidents took place when newly delivered Boeing 737 Max 8s went down just minutes after taking off, they have some degree of similarity,” the Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement on Monday reported in Chinese state media.
Britain became the first European country to ban the aircraft from their airspace on Tuesday. The U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority saying it was taking the “precautionary measure” because it did not yet “have sufficient information from the flight data recorder” from the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
The European air safety agency announced it was grounding all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft models while the crash is investigated. The move came after a number of European countries joined the ban.
Other countries that have grounded the Boeing 737 MAX 8
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand and Fiji
- Hong Kong
- United Arab Emirates
Airlines that have grounded the Boeing 737 MAX 8
Norwegian Air initially said it would keep using the model, but on Tuesday said they were suspending the model, “following recommendations by European aviation authorities.”
Other airlines that have grounded the aircraft
- Signapore’s Silk Air
- India’s Jet Air
- Mexico’s Aeroméxico
- Argentina’s Aerolíneas Argentinas
- Brazil’s Gol
- Mongolia’s MIAT
- Morroco’s Royal Air Maroc
- Turkish Airlines
- South Korea’s Eastar Jet
- Canada’s Sunwing Airlines
- Russia’s S7
- Cayman Islands’s Cayman Airways
- South Africa’s Comair
- Iceland’s Icelandair
- Fiji’s Fiji Airways
As the number of airlines grounding the fleet continues to grow, other carriers – including American Airlines and Southwest – say they will continue to fly the model.
“We have full confidence in the aircraft and our crew members, who are the best and most experienced in the industry,” American Airlines Group Inc., which is the world’s largest carrier, said in a statement to Bloomberg.
BY CIARA NUGENT