Airlines in multiple countries have suspended the use of Boeing’s new 737 MAX 8 aircraft over concerns about its safety, after an Ethiopian Airlines flight of the same model crashed Sunday which killed all 157 on board.
On Sunday, Flight ET302 to Nairobi had just taken off from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa reported technical problems and asked for permission to turn back and crashed shortly afterwards.
As the crash investigation got underway, the Civil Aviation Administration of China ordered Monday that all domestic Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets be out of the air by 6 p.m. local time, due to its principle of zero tolerance for safety hazards.
The move was followed by an announcement from Ethiopian Airlines that the carrier had grounded its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets as an extra safety precaution.
Cayman Airways also said on Monday it was grounding both of its “new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft until more information is received.”
Sunday was the that a new Boeing aircraft crashed just minutes into a flight. A Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight went down over the Java Sea in last October, killing all 189 people on board.
Both the crashes are under investigation at the moment and there is no evidence of a link between the two, but similarities in the incidents have prompted caution among some airlines.
“Given in both air crashes, the aircrafts were newly delivered Boeing 737 MAX 8, and both accidents occurred during the take-off, they share certain similarities,” the Chinese administration said in a statement. It added that it would contact Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration to confirm flight safety issues before allowing the planes to fly again.
The Kenyan and Ethiopian governments announced a joint disaster response team on Monday to investigate the crash. Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary of Transport James Macharia described it as a very complex investigation.
In a statement Sunday, Boeing said it was deeply saddened to hear about the loss of life in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash.
“A Boeing technical team will be traveling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and US National Transportation Safety Board,” the statement said.