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12 Mar, 2019 13:25

Troubled Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes banned from UK airspace

Troubled Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes banned from UK airspace

The UK Civil Aviation Authority announced a ban on Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft from British airspace on Tuesday. Britain has joined a growing number of countries grounding the aircraft after two deadly crashes in recent weeks.

The 737 MAX 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed after takeoff on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. The tragedy followed Indonesia’s Lion Air 737 MAX 8 crash in late October that killed 189 passengers and crew.

"Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by the tragic incident in Ethiopia on Sunday," the UK authority said in a statement.

"The UK Civil Aviation Authority has been closely monitoring the situation, however, as we do not currently have sufficient information from the flight data recorder we have, as a precautionary measure, issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace.”

The aviation authority added that its “safety directive will be in place until further notice."

"We remain in close contact with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and industry regulators globally," the statement said.

Also on rt.com Australia bans Boeing 737 MAX 8 flights following second deadly crash

According to the authority, there are currently five 737 MAX 8 aircraft registered and operational in the United Kingdom. A sixth was planned to commence operations later this week.

It noted that the “US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for certifying all Boeing 737 MAX models and it is the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) that validates this certification across the EU, including the UK.”

The announcement by the United Kingdom follows similar moves by Australia, China, Indonesia, the Cayman Islands, Ethiopia, Mongolia and Morocco.

On Tuesday, South Africa, Singapore and Vietnam also announced that they were grounding the troubled aircraft. India’s aviation regulator also tightened norms governing the operation the jet.

Shortly after the UK authority’s announcement, low-cost airline Norwegian said it will not operate any flights with the aircraft until further notice.

“In response to the temporary suspension of Being 737 MAX operations by multiple aviation authorities we have taken the decision to not operate flights using this aircraft type, until advised otherwise by the relevant aviation authorities,” said Tomas Hesthammer, Norwegian’s acting chief operating officer.

“We would like to apologize to customers for any inconvenience caused, however, safety will always remain our top priority,” he added.

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