Rediff.com  » Business » India may ban Boeing 737 Max 8 planes, decision likely on Wednesday

India may ban Boeing 737 Max 8 planes, decision likely on Wednesday

By Deepak Patel and Aditi Khanna
Last updated on: March 12, 2019 23:30 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

About 350 Boeing 737 Max 8 are currently in service with airlines around the world, with thousands more on order. Boeing insists it has no reason to pull the popular aircraft from the skies.

India is likely to ban the use of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft by the country's airline companies and the decision on the issue may be taken on Wednesday, a senior official of aviation watchdog DGCA said on Tuesday.

On Sunday, a 737 MAX 8 aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed near Addis Ababa killing 157 people, including four Indians.

 

"We are likely to ban the use of 737 Max 8 by Indian airlines. The final decision is going to be taken by Wednesday. The discussions are ongoing," the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official told PTI.

SpiceJet has around 12 such aircraft in its fleet, while Jet Airways has five, which are currently grounded.

The UK on Tuesday became yet another country to ban the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft from its airspace in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash involving the model.

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said passenger airlines using the aircraft will not be allowed to operate in or over UK airspace "as a precautionary measure" until further notice.

France and Ireland have taken similar steps.

“The UK Civil Aviation Authority 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 UK airspace,” a CAA spokesperson said.

"The UK Civil Aviation Authority's safety directive will be in place until further notice,” it noted.

British travel operator TUI confirmed that all of its 737 Max 8 fleet has been grounded.

Norwegian Airlines, which flies planes out of the UK, has also suspended flights of its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

The UK joins Singapore, China, Malaysia and Australia, in grounding the jets after all 157 on board such an aircraft with Ethiopian Airlines died in a crash on Sunday.

It was the second fatal accident involving the 737 Max 8 model in less than five months - the previous crash involving a Lion Air aircraft in Indonesia in October last year when it crashed into the sea off Indonesia and killed all 189 on board.

US officials say the aircraft are still safe to fly.

But the largest operator of 737 Max 8s in the US, Southwest Airlines, is offering passengers scheduled to fly on one of the Boeing planes the chance to change their bookings.

Boeing said it had been developing a flight control software enhancement for several months since the Lion Air Flight 610 disaster last month.

It said the software changes were designed to make "an already safe aircraft even safer".

About 350 Boeing 737 Max 8 are currently in service with airlines around the world, with thousands more on order.

Boeing insists it has no reason to pull the popular aircraft from the skies.

Photograph: Matt Mills McKnight/Reuters

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Deepak Patel and Aditi Khanna
Source: PTI© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 

Moneywiz Live!