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12 Mar, 2019 14:29

Countries that did & DID NOT ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 amid probe; BILLIONS at stake

Countries that did & DID NOT ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 amid probe; BILLIONS at stake

Countries around the globe are grounding their Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleets, as the best-selling jet is under investigation after two deadly crashes in under five months. The US firm’s reputation and billions of dollars are at stake.

The 737 Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed six minutes after take-off on Sunday en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, killing all 157 people on board. The tragedy followed Indonesia's Lion Air 737 Max 8 crash in October that killed 189 passengers and crew.

The latest crash of the best-selling jet in the Boeing's 737 range might seriously challenge the unrivalled reputation of the aerospace giant. Despite the October crash the manufacturer could boast 5,011 firm orders from 79 customers for its 737 MAX 8 as of the end of January.

Also on rt.com Troubled Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes banned from UK airspace

The worst-case scenario may reportedly wipe out up to five percent of Boeing's annual revenue within several months. If the software problem causes full grounding of the jets and even suspension of deliveries, the company will lose around $5.1 billion, according to experts from Jefferies investment bank, as quoted by the Washington Post. The analysts say that the entire 737 program is projected to raise $32 billion for Boeing in 2019 alone.

Boeing stock continued sliding on Tuesday, down over five percent at 14:44 GMT.

Late on Monday, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Boeing's 737 Max 8 model is airworthy. The agency declined to order airlines to ground the jet. The aerospace group said it is working on a software update on the aircraft in close cooperation with the FAA.

The FAA decision hasn't stopped global carriers and aviation authorities from grounding the jet until the results of a full investigation, which could take months. However, some regulators reject to the drastic measure, saying that mounting concerns over the jet's safety are far too premature.

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

Who is grounding Boeing 737 MAX 8s?

The entire European Union – 28 countries – has banned the 737 MAX aircraft from their airspace on Tuesday, when the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced the move to “ensure the safety of passengers.” At the same time, the watchdog stressed it was too early to draw any conclusions on the causes of the crash in Ethiopia.

Earlier in the day, several European countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Belgium took separate action against the ill-fated plane, suspending all flights involving it.

Ethiopian Airlines has grounded the remaining four Boeing 737 MAX planes in its fleet as an "extra safety precaution." The air carrier still has orders for an additional 25 same-model jets placed with Boeing.

China's Civil Aviation Administration has ordered all the country's domestic airlines to stop flights using the airplane. The regulator cited "zero tolerance for safety hazards" as grounds for the decision. According to Chinese media reports, the country's airlines are currently operating 97 of the planes in their fleets.

Indonesia joined the ban, having suspended the flights of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes operated by its airlines. The step will "ensure that aircraft operating in Indonesia are in an airworthy condition," according to an official statement by the Directorate General of Air Transportation at the Ministry of Transportation.

Oman closed its airports to 737 MAX jets on Tuesday. The sultanate’s Public Authority for Civil Aviation announced that it was “temporarily suspending operations of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of all Omani airports until further notice.”

Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the country’s aviation watchdog, grounded the troubled Boeing bestseller on Tuesday evening, and later closed its airspace for the 737 Max 8s altogether.

Cayman Airways, which also flies the latest 737, said it was placing a temporary ban on flying the jets in the light of the latest accident.

Mongolia's Civil Aviation Authority has followed suit, ordering the national air carrier MIAT to temporarily suspend its Boeing 737 MAX flights.

Also on rt.com Boeing stock drops most in two decades after 2nd crash of its popular 737 passenger jet

Royal Air Maroc announced it is suspending all commercial flights carried out by the aircraft.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore pledged to temporarily stop using "all variants of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of Singapore in light of two fatal accidents involving Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in less than five months." The ban will affect the carriers that fly into the country, including China Southern Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Shandong Airlines and Thai Lion Air, as well as Singaporean domestic airline SilkAir, which had previously rejected the grounding measure.

Vietnam, where no airline currently operates the aircraft, announced on Wednesday that it was shutting down its airspace for the 737 MAX 8 model. “Airlines will be affected by this ban as they will have to use different aircraft, but this is all for safety reasons,” the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) said, noting that licenses would not be restored until either the “the causes of the crash are identified” or the FAA takes “remedial measures.” Vietnam’s Vietjet airline is about to receive some 200 737 MAX 8 planes this year.

On Tuesday, Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) temporary placed a ban on in and out flights carried by all Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets.

"This is a temporary suspension while we wait for more information to review the safety risks of continued operations of the Boeing 737 MAX to and from Australia," the regulator said.

The United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority issued a ruling on Tuesday, banning all Boeing 737 MAX models from flying in its airspace. The ban refers to the Emirati airline Flydubai, the only national airline that operates Boeing 737 MAX 8s and MAX 9s.

Australian carriers reportedly don't operate the 737 MAX, while two foreign airlines, including Singapore's SilkAir and Fiji Airways have been flying the jets into the country. SilkAir is barred from flying any 737 MAX by the Singaporean state aviation authority. However, Fiji Airways is not planning to stop flying the two 737 MAX 8s in its fleet.

Also on rt.com More global carriers ground Boeing’s newest 737 after another deadly crash

South Africa's Comair Airways announced plans to delete the 737 MAX 8 from its flight schedule, though the carrier hasn't received any official requirements neither from regulatory authorities nor from the manufacturer.

"While Comair has done extensive preparatory work prior to the introduction of the first 737 MAX 8 into its fleet and remains confident in the inherent safety of the aircraft, it has decided temporarily not to schedule the aircraft while it consults with other operators, Boeing and technical experts," the company's statement reads.

South Korea's lowcoster Eastar Jet also grounded its two 737 MAX 8 jets starting to "dispel the worry and concern of the people." The carrier vowed to resume flights when there are no more safety concerns.

Argentina's largest airline placed a temporary ban on commercial operations for the five 737 MAX 8s in its fleet.

Aeromexico, the flag carrier airline of Mexico, is temporarily grounding its six 737 MAX 8 planes "until more thorough information on the investigation of flight ET302 accident can be provided."

Russian S7 Airlines has grounded its two Boeing 737 MAX planes until the cause of the deadly crash in Ethiopia is determined.

Also on rt.com China grounds its 737 MAX fleet after latest-gen Boeing jet suffers 2nd crash in 5 months

Who is still flying the controversial planes?

Without the FAA ban, US airlines continue to operate the aircraft despite the two recent crashes. The country's two major carriers American Airlines and Southwest Airlines refused to stop operations of 737 MAX 8 jets. Texas-based American Airlines expressed its condolences to the families of crash victims, pledging to further monitor the investigation. Southwest Airlines, which operates 34 of the aircraft in its fleet, is not planning to change its operational policies or procedures.

Canada's air carrier WestJet decided not to suspend using the 13 MAX 8s it has in its fleet.

"We are monitoring the situation closely and will not speculate on the cause of the incident," WestJet said in a statement. "WestJet remains confident in the safety of our Boeing 737 fleet including our 13 MAX-8 aircraft first introduced in 2017."

Icelandair, the flag carrier of Iceland, said its three Boeing 737 MAX jets have never been involved in any incidents. The company pledged to monitor further developments with the aircraft.

Also on rt.com Boeing cancels 777X launch event after Ethiopian Airlines’ MAX 8 crash

"At this stage, Icelandair is not taking any action following recent events, but we will, however, follow any developments closely and continue to do all we can to ensure safety on board now as before," a statement reads.

Brazil's GOL Linhas Aereas, which operates seven 737 MAX 8s in its fleet, also refused to ground the jets.

"GOL continues to follow the investigations and maintains close contact with Boeing for clarification," the airline said in a statement. "The company reiterates confidence in the safety of its fleet."

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