MNA – Chinese airlines grounded all their Boeing 737 MAX jets following the request from the country’s aviation regulator.
After Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in a rural area outside of Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board, Boeing was hit with the grounding of its fleet and even postponed the presentation of its new 777X aircraft.
The crash of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 in a rural area southeast of Addis Ababa was shocking, especially since the crash came a few months after another Boeing 737 MAX 8 went down in the Java Sea just after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia, in October, killing all 189 aboard.
According to Bloomberg, China Southern Airlines Co. has 16 of the aircraft, with another 34 on order, according to data on Boeing’s website updated through January. China Eastern Airlines Corp. has 13, while Air China Ltd. has 14, Boeing says. Other Chinese airlines to have bought the Max include Hainan Airlines Holdings Co. and Shandong Airlines Co., the data show.
Cayman Airways also grounded its two Boeing 737 MAX planes until more information about the crash emerges. Its CEO Fabian Whorms said that the airline stands by “our commitment to putting the safety of our passengers and crew first by maintaining complete and undoubtable safe operations.”
Ethiopian Airlines later also released a statement saying that it had decided to ground all Boeing 737 MAX planes, Sputnik reported.
Boeing earlier said it was preparing to send a technical team to assist the accident investigation of the Ethiopian Airlines plane, which was delivered new in November to Africa’s biggest carrier. It is also said it is postponing the “external debut” of its 777X model and related media events scheduled for this week because of the accident. There is no change to the plane’s schedule or progress, Boeing spokesmen said following the announcement.
The US Federal Aviation Administration, which originally certified the 737 MAX, declined to add to its earlier statement saying it is “closely monitoring developments” in the Ethiopian investigation.
The Boeing 737 MAX has been flying for less than two years and is a best-seller for the Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer. According to company data, Boeing has delivered 350 MAX jets to airlines around the world since May 2017, while another 4,661 were on order as of January.