Airlines, nations ground Boeing jet after deadly crash
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 3/12/19, 11:07 am
Airlines and nations around the world are grounding a new Boeing jet, as officials and experts investigate the cause of a crash Sunday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that killed all 157 people on board. The Boeing 737 Max 8 owned by Ethiopian Airlines went down in clear weather six minutes after taking off for Nairobi.
British, German, French, Dutch, and Italian regulators are the most recent to ban the jet from their countries’ airspace, with Malaysia, Australia, and Singapore suspending all flights involving the plane into and out of the country. The European Aviation Safety Agency has also issued a directive grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 model aircraft and applied it to all European Union airspace. Oman, Norwegian Air Shuttle, and South Korean Eastar Jet have joined airlines in China and Indonesia, Aeroméxico, Brazil’s Gol Airlines, India’s Jet Airways, and other countries and airlines in grounding the plane, with some citing worried customers as the reason for the action.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it expects Boeing will soon complete improvements to an automated anti-stall system suspected of contributing to the deadly October crash of another Boeing 737 Max 8 and update training requirements and related flight crew manuals. But safety experts have cautioned against drawing too many comparisons between it and the crash in Ethiopia. Boeing said it has no reason to pull the aircraft from service and its technical team has joined U.S., Israeli, United Arab Emirates, Kenyan, and other aviation experts in the investigation of Sunday’s crash led by Ethiopian authorities.
Victims of the crash came from 35 countries and included dozens of humanitarian workers. It could take up to five days before any remains are identified, Ethiopian airlines spokesman Asrat Begashaw said.
Editor’s note: We have updated this article to include additional countries that have announced they have closed their airspace to the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet.
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