The United Kingdom (UK) has barred the Boeing 737 Max from operating over its airspace joining a list of other countries that have grounded the aircraft after a second plane crash in less than five months left 157 people dead raising questions about plane’s safety.
Ethiopia, China, Singapore, Cayman Islands, Australia, Germany and France have all barred the plane as investigations into the cause of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 plane crash gather pace.
US authorities now face a herculean task to prove that the planes are safe.
On Tuesday, The Guardian reported that a spokesperson for the UK Civil Aviation Authority had confirmed grounding of the plane.
“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 British publication quoted the spokesperson.
Currently there are five 737 Max aircraft registered and operational in the UK. The sixth one was slated to commence operations later this week.
On Sunday, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 enroute to Nairobi from Addis Ababa crashed six minutes after takeoff bringing the number of Boeing 737 Max casualties in the last five months to 342.
In October 2018, Lion Air Flight 610, a flight operated by Indonesian airline, Lion Air crashed twelve minutes after takeoff. All 189 passengers and crew were killed in the accident.
The accident led to aviation experts to question how a new plane that had only clocked 800 hours of flight crashed.
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On Monday, Ethiopian Airlines confirmed that it had recovered two black boxes (electronic recording devices placed in an aircraft for the purpose of facilitating the investigation of aviation accidents and incidents) from the crash site.