Ethiopian Airlines grounds all Boeing 737 MAX jets
Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets following the Sunday crash that killed 157 people.
“Following the tragic accident of ET 302/10 March 737-8 MAX (ET-AVJ), Ethiopian Airlines has decided to ground all B-737-8 MAX fleet effective yesterday March 10,2019 until further notice,” said the airline in a statement issued Monday.
According to Ethiopian Airlines, the decision was made as an “extra safety precaution” as investigations continue into the cause of the Sunday crash.
“Although we don’t yet know the cause of the accident, we had to decide to ground the particular fleet as extra safety precaution,” said Ethiopian Airlines.
The Chinese government has also made a similar move. The Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement on Monday morning that all domestic Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets would be out of action until 6 p.m. local time, due to its principle of “zero tolerance for safety hazards.”
The Ethiopian Airlines incident was the second time in less than six months that a new Boeing aircraft crashed just minutes into a flight. A Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight went down over the Java Sea in late October, killing all 189 people on board.
“Given in both air crashes, the aircrafts were newly delivered Boeing 737 MAX 8, and both accidents occurred during the take-off, they share certain similarities,” the administration said in a statement.
China has one of the world largest fleets of Boeing 737 MAX 8, operating 97 of the planes, according to Chinese state-run media.
The Chinese authority said it would contact Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration to confirm “flight safety” issues before allowing the planes to fly again.
The Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes are both still under investigation and there is no evidence of a direct link between the cause of the two incidents.
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