China’s aviation regulator has ordered airlines to suspend the use of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in the wake of a deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane on Sunday.
Nairobi-bound flight ET302 crashed just minutes after take-off in Addis Ababa on Sunday, killing all 157 people – 149 passengers and eight crew members – on board.
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) March 10, 2019
According to Chinese media reports, 8 Chinese nationals perished in the disaster, including 5 men and 3 women, mostly in their twenties and thirties.
Four of the victims were employees of Chinese companies, presumably Africa-based, and two were United Nations workers, including one Hong Kong resident. Another two passengers were from Liaoning and Zhejiang on private trips.
Boeing now faces tough questions about the 737 MAX, its latest iteration of its 737 narrow-body plane which entered service in 2017.
A concerned customer sent the following mail to Ethiopian Airline regarding the one of the ill-fated flight 737 Max but they never responded
— Mr. Run Tingz (@Wyseboyrepublik) March 10, 2019
In October, a 737 MAX jet flown by Indonesian carrier Lion Air similarly crashed minutes after take-off. None of the 189 people on board survived.
Citing a “zero-tolerance” approach to accidents, the Civil Aviation Administration of China ordered all 737 MAX planes to be suspended before 6pm on Monday. China is home to one of the world’s largest fleets of the jet.
96 737 MAX planes are currently in service in China with the following airlines – China Southern (24 jets), Air China (15), Hainan Airlines (11), Shanghai Airlines (11), Xiamen Airlines (10), Shandong Airlines (7), Shenzhen Airlines (5), China Eastern (3), Juneyao Airlines (3), Okay Airways (2), Fuzhou Airlines (2), Kunming Airlines (2), 9 Air (1).
The grounding of the planes is an unprecedented move, but China does have a vested interest beyond air safety. State-owned aircraft manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) has ambitious goals of rivalling the likes of Boeing and Airbus.
In pre-market trading on Monday, shares of Boeing Co fell some 9% as the crash looks set to wipe billions off the jetmaker’s market capitalization.
Claiming @FlyEthiopian is an airline with a “poor safety record” because of hijacking attempts over last 20 years is irresponsible.
— Alex Macheras (@AlexInAir) March 10, 2019