UK Suspends Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from operating in its airspace



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The United Kingdom (UK) has become the latest country to ban the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from flying in and out of its airport, after the Ethiopia crash the left 157 dead.

It follows two crashes involving the plane in less than five months in which 346 have died.

As sighted on Skynews, British travel operator, TUI, has confirmed that all of its 737 MAX 8 fleet has been grounded.

A spokesperson from the company said: "Any customers due to fly home today on a 737 MAX 8 from their holiday will be flown back on another aircraft.”

"Customers due to travel in the coming days will also travel on holiday as planned on other aircraft. The safety and well-being of our customers and staff has remained our primary concern, “he said.

Meanwhile, Norwegian airlines, which flies plane out of the UK, has also suspended flights of its Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

Tomas Hesthammer, the company's acting chief operating officer, said: "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," he said.

"We would like to apologise to customers for any inconvenienced caused, however, safety will always remain our top priority." he added.

The Max 8 is one of the latest versions of an aircraft, the Boeing 737, which has been operated around the world since 1967.

Announcing the suspension of the Boeing planes, the UK Civil Aviation Authority said: "(We have) 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 safety directive is in place until further notice.

It comes after Australia's civil aviation authority and a South Korean airline followed others in announcing the move.

China, South Africa, Singapore, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico suspended flights by the same plane on Monday.

The suspensions come after 157 people were killed on Sunday when a 737 MAX 8 crashed in Ethiopia.

Nine Britons were among the dead.

Boeing said it had been developing a flight control software enhancement for several months after the Lion Air Flight 610 disaster last year.

 The plane, also a 737 MAX 8, crashed into the sea off Indonesia and killed all 189 on board.

Boeing said the software changes were designed to make "an already safe aircraft even safer".

However, two major crashes in the space of less than five months have raised questions about the safety of the aircraft.

About 350 are currently in service with airlines around the world, but thousands more are on order. 

In a statement it said: "The Boeing Company is deeply saddened by the loss of Lion Air Flight 610, which has weighed heavily on the entire Boeing team, and we extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the families and loved ones of those on board.

"Safety is a core value for everyone at Boeing and the safety of our airplanes, our customers' passengers and their crews is always our top priority."

Boeing said the software enhancements included limiting stabiliser trim commands in response to erroneous readings, pilot displays, operation manuals and crew training.

It said it believed the updates would be granted a Airworthiness Directive (AD) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) no later than April.Boeing has said it have no reason to pull the popular aircraft from the skies.

Background

An Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 crashed minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa on Sunday.

The airline grounded its remaining four Boeing 737 MAX 8s until further notice as "an extra safety precaution" on Monday.

Authorities in several countries followed suit – but several airlines serving UK airports, including TUI and Norwegian, are continuing to fly the planes.

Both the flight data and cockpit voice recorders have now been recovered.

The FAA arrived at the crash site outside the capital, Addis Ababa, with representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Meanwhile, witnesses have described seeing smoke billowing out of the rear of the plane and a loud noise before it hit the ground.

Officials, hwever, have contacted the families of all those killed in the tragedy with the victims coming from 35 nations.

 Ghana| Atinkaonline.com