UK, Singapore, Australia, China and Malaysia ground Boeing's 737 MAX
SINGAPORE – Reuters
A SilkAir Boeing 737 Max 8 plane (behind) sits on the tarmac near a hangar after suspended operations for all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes, at Changi Airport in Singapore on March 12. (Edgar Su / Reuters)
Australia, U.K., Malaysia and Singapore on March 12 banned Boeing 737 MAX planes from their airspace and airlines around the world grounded the jets following a second deadly accident in just five months.
On March 10 a new Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 went down minutes into a flight to Nairobi, killing all 157 people on board. It came after a Lion Air jet of the same model crashed in Indonesia in October, killing 189. Investigators have recovered the black box flight recorders from the Ethiopian Airlines plane, which went down near Addis Ababa carrying passengers and crew from 35 countries.
U.S. regulators have ordered Boeing to make urgent improvements to the model and insisted they would take action if safety issues are detected. But it was not enough to reassure aviation authorities in other countries, with Malaysia, Singapore and Australia temporarily banning all 737 MAX planes from their airspace. Aviation regulators in Singapore, a global air travel hub and popular transit point for long-haul travelers, said they would work with the country’s main airport and “the affected airlines to minimize any impact to travelling passengers.” One Singapore airline, SilkAir, uses 737 MAX aircraft while a handful of foreign airlines operate the planes in the city-state.
“The U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has been closely monitoring the situation, however, as we do not currently have sufficient information from the flight data recorder we have, as a precautionary measure, issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying U.K. airspace,” a CAA statement said.
South Korea meanwhile ordered the only airline in the country that operates the jets to suspend operations of its two MAX 8s. Argentina’s flag carrier also grounded five MAX 8 aircraft on March 12, as did airlines in countries including South Africa, Brazil and Mexico.
Turkish authorities said on March 12 that they would announce a decision soon.