“Out Of An Abundance Of Caution,” Boeing Grounds Entire Fleet Of 737 Max 8 Planes Globally

The Logical Indian Crew

March 14th, 2019 / 11:54 AM

After an Ethiopian Airlines flight carrying 149 passengers and eight crew members on board crashed last week, Boeing announced on March 13 that they would recommend grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes globally out of “out of an abundance of caution.” They have said that they will ground all 371 of the aircraft. In total, around 560 countries have already grounded Boeing 737 Max planes.

India had already grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes before Boeing’s announcement. As a result, it is likely that there will be a rise in disruption of operations and domestic flight fares. Domestic fares have already increased due to flight cancellations by Jet Airways and IndiGo.

Planes to be grounded until appropriate safety measures are undertaken

In the aftermath of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, China was the first country to ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes. Several countries including Britain, France and Germany, Australia, Singapore, Oman and Malaysia followed.

In India, the ban was implemented after regulator came under pressure to take action. Earlier the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) allowed the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to fly under stricter regulations.

“(Industry regulator) DGCA has taken the decision to ground the Boeing 737-MAX planes immediately. These planes will be grounded (until) appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations. As always, passenger safety remains our top priority. We continue to consult closely with regulators around the world, airlines, and aircraft manufacturers to ensure passenger safety,” the aviation ministry tweeted.

The DGCA further told the media that Boeing 737 MAX operations will stop from/to all Indian airports from 4 pm today i.e March 13.

“We will ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, which are currently in use by Indian airlines, by 4 pm today,” the DGCA said.
DGCA is expecting to position the aircrafts at maintenance facilities to facilitate international flights in the stipulated time frame.

Jet Airways and SpiceJet, the only airlines that operate Boeing 737 MAX in the country, have been affected by the ban.

SpiceJet has already announced the cancellation of 14 flights. “SpiceJet has presently announced cancellation of 14 flights for today and will be operating additional flights from tomorrow,” SpiceJet said in its statement.

SpiceJet further said that several passengers who have been affected as a result of these cancellations have been accommodated on alternate flights. Some have been offered full refund.

Two Boeing crashes in six months

The Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10 is even more disturbing as it comes just months after a Lion Air flight crashed in Java sea killing all 189 passengers onboard in October 2018. Both the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air flight used the same model of aircraft models, Boeing 737 Max.

The second crash involving the new model killed 157 passengers from as many as 35 countries. It also raised questions on the safety of the model.

Although the reason behind the latest crash is yet to be ascertained, pilots and investigators have expressed concern over the airplanes’ software system and the potential threat that pilots could face while trying to override the system during an emergency.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there are a total of 387 Boeing 737 Max models operating globally, including 74 in the United States.

Also Read: China, Indonesia & Singapore Suspend Boeing 737 Max 8 Operations After 157 Died In Ethiopian Plane Crash


Written by : Sumanti Sen

Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi

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