All Boeing 737 Max 8 Aircraft to be Grounded by 4pm Today, Aviation Ministry Calls Meet of Airlines
The decision came days after a 737 MAX 8 aircraft operated by the Ethiopian Airlines crashed near Addis Ababa killing 157 people, including four Indians.
Jet Airways Boeing 737 Max 8. (Image: Jet Airways)
New Delhi: A senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday said all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft would be grounded in India by 4pm. The Civil Aviation Ministry will hold a meeting with airlines to prepare a contingency plan as a number of flights have been cancelled, a senior government official said.
The decision came days after a 737 MAX 8 aircraft operated by the Ethiopian Airlines crashed near Addis Ababa, killing 157 people, including four Indians.
On Tuesday night, the aviation watchdog announced its decision to ground the aircraft that are currently being used by airline companies in India.
A DGCA spokesperson on Wednesday morning said, “The B737Max operations will stop from/to all Indian airports. Additionally, no B737 Max aircraft will be allowed to enter or transit the Indian airspace effective 1600hrs Indian time or 1030 UTC.”
"The time line is to cater to situations where aircraft can be positioned at maintenance facilities and international flights can reach their destinations," the spokesperson said.
SpiceJet has around 12 such aircraft in its fleet. Jet Airways has five, which have been grounded already.
In a statement Wednesday, SpiceJet said," SpiceJet has suspended Boeing 737 Max operations following DGCA's decision to ground the aircraft." "Safety and security of our passengers, crew and operations are of utmost importance to us and we will be working with the regulator and the manufacturer to attain normalcy in our operations. “We are confident of accommodating the vast majority of our passengers and minimise inconvenience," the airline said.
The Ethiopian Airlines incident on Sunday was the second such crash involving a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in less than five months. In October last year, an aircraft operated by Lion Air crashed killing over 180 people in Indonesia. The European Union and many other countries across the world have already banned the use of the 737 Max 8 aircraft in their respective airspace.
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