China grounds Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, following Ethiopian Airlines crash
China’s civil aviation authority has ordered domestic airlines to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 aeroplanes after a crash in Ethiopia killed all 157 people on board.
On March 10, Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 crashed shortly after take-off from Nairobi on its way to Addis Ababa with 149 passengers and eight crew members on board.
It is the second crash involving the Boeing 737 MAX 8 model in recent months. In October, a Lion Air plane crashed into the sea off the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, killing all 189 onboard.
Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all of its Boeing 737 8 MAX fleet until further notice.
A statement from the airline said: “Although we don’t yet know the cause of the accident, we had to decide to ground the particular fleet as [an] extra safety precaution.”
CAAC: "Certain similarities"
China’s Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has ordered all airlines in the country to ground the Boeing 737 MAX 8 from 6pm today.
A statement from CAAC said the decision had been taken: “In view of the fact that the two air crashes are newly delivered Boeing 737-8 aircraft, and they [both occurred] in the take-off phase, they have certain similarities.”
The regulator said the grounding was “in line with our principle of zero tolerance for safety hazards and strict control of safety risks”.
The Guardian reports that several airlines have responded to queries saying they have no plans to ground flights on the aircraft at the moment.
Boeing said it was "deeply saddened" by the crash and that a technical team would be travelling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and US National Transportation Safety Board.