China orders its airlines to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 11, 2019 - Duration: 01:38s

China orders its airlines to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets

China's aviation regulator said on Monday it had ordered Chinese airlines to suspend their Boeing Co 737 MAX aircraft operations following a deadly crash of one of the planes in Ethiopia the day before.

Michelle Hennessy reports.

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China orders its airlines to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets

China's ordered its airlines to ground the Boeing 737 max on Monday (March 11).

That comes a day after a deadly crash of the aircraft, operated by Ethiopian Airlines.

The disaster was the second time a 737 MAX 8 has crashed shortly after takeoff since the planes were brought into service in 2017.

Last year, all 189 people onboard died when another MAX 8 run by Indonesia's Lion Air went down.

But the cause of both crashes is still under investigation.

Reuters spoke to a U.S. official, who - speaking on condition of anonymity - said the U.S. was unsure about what information China was acting on.

And said there were no plans to follow suit in the U.S., citing what they called a stellar safety record in the United States - and a lack of information about the cause of the crash in Ethiopia.

China's civil aviation administration said it was working in line with its zero-tolerance principle on safety hazards.

And will notify the airlines when they can resume flying the jets.

Chinese airlines have 96 of the planes in service, according to the state company regulator.

A Chinese-state run news service said many of the flights would instead use an older model, the 737-800.

Cayman Airways has also grounded both of its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets.

But other airlines including Fiji Airways and Singapore airlines have said their planes will continue to operate as scheduled.

A Boeing spokesman declined to comment.

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