Ethiopian Airlines grounds all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft

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Ethiopian Airlines has announced this morning that it has ground all its Boeing 737 Max 8 after one of its aircraft crashed yesterday (10 March) killing all 149 passengers and eight crew members on board.

The airline operates four of the aircraft type and has a further 25 on order.

The African carrier said in a statement: “Following the tragic accident of ET 302/10 March B737-8 Max. Ethiopian Airlines has decided to ground all B737-Max fleet effective yesterday, untul further notice.

“Although we don’t know yet the cause of the accident, we have to decide to ground the particular fleet as extra safety precaution.

“Ethiopian Airlines will release further information as soon as it is available, through the airline’s website and social media pages.”

The accident puts pressure Boeing especially after the Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft crashed at the end of October, which was put down to technical issues relating to sensors which affected the angle-of-attack.

China’s aviation regular – the Civil Aviation Administration of China – has ordered domestic airlines using the aircraft to stop using them while others could be set to follow suit.

Cayman Airlines has also suspended operations with its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft of which it operates two. “While the cause of this sad loss is undetermined at this time, we stand by our commitment to putting the safety of our passengers and crew first by maintaining complete and undoubtable safe operations, and as such, we have taken the decision to suspend operations of both our new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, effective from Monday 11 March, 2019, until more information is received,” said president and chief executive officer, Fabian Whorms.

Other bigger operators of the aircraft have though kept faith though. Southwest Air, American Airlines, and Air Canada. Southwest operates 34, American 24, and Air Canada 24.

Boeing said in a statement: “Boeing is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 Max 8 airplane. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team.

“A Boeing technical team will be travelling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.”