The European Union and India have banned the Boeing 737 Max 8 from flying over their airspaces to ensure passenger safety.
This came after last Sunday’s ill-fated crash that killed 157 people on board.
Ethiopian Airlines, widely recognised as Africa’s most successful airline, promptly ordered the rest of the aircraft model in its fleet to be grounded immediately after the incident.
The BBC reports that India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation announced its decision to ground the Boeing 737-Max planes “immediately”.
It said, “These planes will be grounded until appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations.”
EU moves swiftly
Also, the EU Aviation Safety Agency said it is suspending the aircraft “as a precautionary measure”.
Countries like Ethiopia, Singapore, China, France, Ireland, Germany, Australia, Indonesia, and Malaysia had on Monday suspended the 737 Max brand.
On Tuesday, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it will join other countries who have banned the plane.
The 737 MAX 8, the latest version of Boeing’s workhorse narrow-body jets, was introduced in 2017.
Not the first
In October 2018, a 737 MAX 8 operated by Indonesian budget carrier, Lion Air, crashed 13 minutes after take-off from Jakarta on a domestic flight, killing all 189 passengers and crew on board.
Despite a growing precautionary response from countries around the world, the United States, where Boeing is based, says the aircraft is still safe to fly.
The U.S. Association of Flight Attendants is now calling for the country’s Federal Aviation Administration “to temporarily ground the 737 Max fleet in the US out of an abundance of caution”.
Members of the U.S. Congress and ordinary Americans are also piling pressure on the FAA to reverse its decision immediately and ban the aircraft model.
No show in Nigeria
In Nigeria, authorities have said no airline is currently using the 737 Max.
Nigerian carrier, Air Peace, said it had no immediate plan to cancel its order for 10 of the aircraft’s model for its fleet.
Other countries and airlines that have announced a ban on the 737 Max so far are: Argentina (Aerolíneas Argentinas), Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cayman Islands (Cayman Airways), EASA member states, Italy, Mexico (Aeromexico), Mongolia (MIAT Mongolian Airlines), Morocco (Royal Air Maroc), Netherlands Norway (Norwegian), Oman, Poland, South Africa (Comair), South Korea (Eastar Jet) and Turkey.
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