The Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has temporarily suspended airlines from flying all Boeing 737 MAX jets to or from Australia.
“This is a temporary suspension while we wait for more information to review the safety risks of continued operations of the Boeing 737 MAX to and from Australia,” said Shane Carmody CASA CEO.
No Australian airlines fly the 737 MAX, CASA said, but two foreign carriers had earlier flown the aircraft into the country, Singapore’s SilkAir and Fiji Airways. SilkAir has been temporarily barred from flying any 737 MAX out of Singapore by the city state’s aviation authority. Fiji Airways said Tuesday that it would continue flying its two 737 MAX 8s.
CASA said in a statement it was collaborating with Fiji Airways to minimize disruptions to passengers.
Fiji Airways still operates 737 MAX8
Fiji Airways will continue to using the two Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets in its fleet, the company said in a statement.
Fiji’s national carrier said it had “full confidence” in its fleet’s airworthiness and that it is in “close contact with Boeing” following Sunday’s crash in Ethiopia.
“Our Boeing 737 pilots and cabin crew receive extensive ground and simulator training, over and above the mandatory training set for the MAX 8 by the manufacturer. Fiji Airways is and will remain fully compliant with FAA’s Airworthiness Directive.
As the investigation into what took down an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi on Sunday proceeds, a handful of airlines have announced they are grounding their Boeing 737 MAX 8– the type of jet that crashed.
Singapore suspends operation of all 737 MAX planes
Singapore’s aviation authority has taken the strong move of suspending “all variants of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of Singapore.”
The suspension will start at 2 p.m., the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore announced on Tuesday morning. The move will affect SilkAir, a regional carrier in the city-state, and the following airlines that fly into Singapore and have the 737 MAX in their fleets: China Southern Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Shandong Airlines and Thai Lion Air.
Singapore Airlines does not have any 737 MAX 8 planes.Singapore’s decision seems the most extensive so far.
Alongside Singapore, the following jurisdictions and airlines have announced they are temporarily not using the 737 MAX 8: China, Indonesia, Ethiopian Airlines, Aeromexico, Cayman Airways, South Africa’s Comair Airways, South Korea’s Eastar Jet and Aerolíneas Argentinas. A working list of airlines and countries that have suspended the use of 787 MAX 8s can be found here.
Boeing stock drops
The news has appeared to affect Boeing’s revenue. The aircraft maker’s stock dropped 8% Monday, with investors enunciating apprehensions about the 737 and Boeing’s future in China.
Ethiopian Airlines revealed the plane’s Digital Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder were found on Monday. Both are considered important pieces of evidence to help investigators piece together the flight’s last moments and explain why it crashed.
FAA declines to ground planes
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has declined to ground the Boeing 737 MAX 8 in the United States.
It said it would mandate that American carriers install a software enhancement to the aircraft no later than next month, in response to last fall’s Lion Air crash.
“For the past several months, and in the aftermath of Lion Air Flight 610, Boeing has been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer,” Boeing said.
“Boeing has been working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on development, planning and certification of the software enhancement, and it will be deployed across the 737 MAX fleet in the coming weeks.”
Boeing has sent a technical team to the crash site to provide assistance to investigators.
The decision comes as Aerolíneas Argentinas announced it was grounding its five Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes. Argentina’s national carrier said the decision had been “taken after the technical reports” following the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
The following is a current list of airlines and jurisdictions that have suspended use of the 737 MAX 8:
Aeromexico grounds fleet
Aeromexico is grounding its Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes “until more thorough information on the investigation of the flight ET302 accident can be provided.”
The Mexican airline said in a statement it is currently in correspondence with Boeing and the relevant authorities “and still has full confidence in the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet.”
Aeromexico belongs to a handful of airlines that have momentarily stopped using the 737 MAX 8.
India announces new maintainance measures
India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said Tuesday it would not ground the 737 MAX 8s operating in the country. It did announce a raft of interim safety and maintenance measures for airlines operating that particular Boeing aircraft.
Only two Indian carriers have 737 MAX 8s in their fleets; Spicejet has 12 and Jet Airways has five, according to the DGCA.