• Monday, July 15, 2024
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Ten countries ground Boeing 737 MAX jets as Nigeria awaits investigation results

Boeing 737 MAX jets

In the aftermath of the devastating Ethiopian Airline crash in the early hours of Sunday which resulted in the loss of 149 passengers and 8 crew members on board, China, Singapore, Ethiopia and seven other countries have suspended Boeing’s 737 Max 8 planes from operating.

While investigations are on-going to ascertain the cause of the crash, and establish if there is any correlation with the Lion Air crash October 29, 2018, involving the same model, some other countries have adopted a “wait-and-see approach” to determine their next line of action.

While the airline type is currently not operating in Nigeria, Nigeria’s largest carrier, AirPeace and prospective airline, Green Airways have ordered 10 and 100 of the same type of aircraft respectively.

“While we keep engaging with our partners in this regard, we repose implicit confidence in Boeing and aviation authorities to capably and satisfactorily address all the issues if at the conclusion of the on-going investigation it is discovered that the challenge is with the B737 Max 8,” AirPeace said in a statement Monday.

Nigeria’s largest domestic carrier, AirPeace, gave assurance that the issue would be addressed in the interests of clients.

However, while China, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Australia, Argentina, Mexico, Cayman Island, South Africa and Brazil have all grounded the aircraft, US, Russia, Turkey, Italy, Iceland, Norway, Oman, UK, Fiji, Dubai, Canada and India are still operating the airline but have imposed additional interim safety requirements for ground engineers and crew.

Also, the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it will allow Max plane to keep flying pending the outcome of the investigation into the crashes.

The agency advised Boeing to implement a number of design changes to the new anti-stall computer system installed on the Max, and ensure pilots undergo training before flying.

Countries that have grounded 737 Max 8 jet

South Korea: The transport ministry of the Asian country said it has suspended the two Boeing 737 Max 8 planes pending an inspection.

Indonesia: Aviation authorities in Indonesia said it has placed a ban on operations of 737 Max 8 Jet until they are cleared by safety regulators.

Ethiopia: Ethiopian Airlines disclosed that it has suspended the Max plane indefinitely.

Australia: The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) temporarily suspended Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft from flying to Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne for the best interests of safety. CASA further said it is relying on the investigation of FAA to determine the next line of action.

Mongolia: The Mongolian Civil Aviation Authority has mandated its domestic carrier to ground the jet model.

China: China’s Civil Aviation Administration on Monday suspended operations of the jet model pending the confirmation of relevant measures on flight safety.

Argentina: Aerolineas Argentinas, the largest air carrier in the country, disclosed that it has grounded the five 737 Max 8 planes pending the results of the investigations.

 Countries still flying jet

Russia: Russian airline S7, said it has contacted Boeing on the matter, and had not received any order to prohibit 737Max8 from flying.

Italy: Air Italy said it is currently following directives to ensure safety, adding that Boeing 737Max 8 planes are still permitted to fly for the time being.

Other countries still flying the B737 8 Max plane include Iceland, Norway, Dubai, Oman and India, however, they maintained that their future action depends on the outcome of the on-going probe.

NCAA assures Nigerians of safety

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has assured the flying public of their safety, stating that there is no cause for alarm as presently, the accident aircraft type, Boeing 737 – Max 8 is not in operation in the Country.

However , Sam Adurogboye, general manager, NCAA said the Authority, in line with its Safety Oversight mandate enshrined in the Civil Aviation Act 2006, is consciously monitoring the development (s) with a view to take the necessary steps that will enhance the safety of all aircraft in operation within the Nigerian airspace.

It would be recalled that an Ethiopian Airline B737 -Max 8 crashed on Sunday 10th March, 2019 killing all the souls on board after which the Airline and some other countries have grounded the accident aircraft type in their operations.

“This is to assure the public that NCAA will continue to ensure that safety regulations are strictly adhered to for the safety of all in Nigeria.

“Our heart is with the Airline and families of the victims of the accident,” Adurogboye added.

 

IFEOMA OKEKE, ISRAEL ODUBOLA and SEGUN ADAMS