NEW DELHI – India, New Zealand and Malaysia were the latest countries to ground or suspend flights of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft planes on Wednesday after an Ethiopian Airlines flights crashed, killing all 157 people on board.
India has banned all planes of this model from entering its airspace following the crash on Sunday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said.
“In continuation to the decision of DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) to ground the B737 Max operations ... B737Max operations Will stop from/to all Indian airport’s,” the ministry tweeted.
“Additionally, no B737 Max aircraft will be allowed to enter or transit Indian airspace effective 1600hrs IST or 1030 UTC,” it added.
The decision to ground the aircraft was announced on Twitter on Tuesday night when the ministry said that the “DGCA has taken the decision to ground the Boeing 737-MAX planes immediately. These planes will be grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations.”
On Monday night, the Indian airline Jet Airways, one of the two using this model of plane in India (the other being SpiceJet), announced that it had stopped operating its five Boeing 737 MAX planes.
New Zealand Authorities also announced on Wednesday the temporary suspension of the operation of all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
Only one operator, Fiji Airways, flies the aircraft to New Zealand and it does not affect any other airlines, New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement.
“This is a temporary suspension while we continue to monitor the situation closely and analyze information as it comes to hand to determine the safety risks of continued operation of the Boeing 737 MAX to and from New Zealand,” Director of Civil Aviation, Graeme Harris, said in a statement.
Fiji Airways said on Wednesday that together with the Civil Aviation Authority it had “taken the decision to temporarily ground its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft until more information is known about the cause of the Ethiopian Airlines accident.”
The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia on Tuesday “suspended operations of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft flying to or from Malaysia and transiting in Malaysia until further notice,” it said in a statement, adding that none of the national carriers operate the aircraft model.
In the last two days, Ethiopia, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, and Mongolia, among other countries, have also reported the suspension of flights using these aircraft.
On Sunday, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed soon after taking off from Addis Ababa International Airport for Nairobi.
After six minutes of flight, the pilot reported difficulties and requested a return to the airport and despite receiving clearance, the plane crashed about 42 kilometers (26 miles) south-east of Addis Ababa, killing everyone on board.
On Oct. 29, 2018, another Boeing 737 MAX of the Indonesian airline Lion Air crashed into the Java Sea minutes after taking off from Jakarta with 189 occupants.