The Boeing 737 MAX-8 is being grounded across the world.
Rabat – In the wake of the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX-8 on Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET-302, countries around the world have grounded dozens of the same model, and mourning for the lives lost continues.
In the latest restriction, the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority “issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace” for the 737 MAX on March 12.
The plane crashed less than 70 kilometers from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Adaba, killing all 157 people on board from 35 different countries. Two of the fatalities were Moroccan.
Dr. Ben Ahmed Chihab was the regional director of environment from the Draa Tafilalet region in eastern Morocco. Chihab, a biologist and ecologist, was on his way to attend the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi.
Othman Makhon was also a UN delegate representing the Moroccan Ministry of Youth. Of the 157 people on board the fatal flight, 22 were delegates bound to participate in the assembly. During the first day of the assembly on March 11, attendees observed several minutes of silence for their lost colleagues.
King Mohammed VI has also expressed his sympathy and sent his condolences to the families of Chihab and Makhon.
Following the crash, the Boeing company released an official statement expressing its condolences to the families. The company said, “A Boeing technical team will be travelling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.”
Concerns with the Boeing model
In reaction to the accident, Morocco’s national carrier Royal Air Maroc (RAM) has indefinitely grounded its two Boeing 737 MAX-8 jets.
RAM declined to comment on its decision to Morocco World News.
The company received its first Boeing 737 MAX-8 in December. The plane began taking passengers to Barcelona, Paris, and London on January 1.
Other airlines, including Ethiopian Airlines, Cayman Airways, MIAT Mongolian Airlines, Lion Air, Aerolineas Argentinas, and Aeromexico have also chosen to ground their 737 MAX-8 fleets.
Entire countries, such as China, Indonesia, and Singapore, announced the grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft operated by airlines within their respective countries. China Southern Airlines is the company most affected because it operates 23 MAX-8s.
The Ethiopian flight is the second deadly accident involving a 737 MAX 8 in the past five months. On October 29, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea, less than 15 minutes after its take-off from Jakarta, Indonesia—killing all 189 people on board.
According to Boeing, there are more than 300 models of 737-MAX planes in operation, and airlines have ordered more than 5,000 worldwide since 2017.
Malindo Air operated the 737 MAX 8’s first commercial flight from Malaysia to Singapore in May 2017. Six months later, in November 2017, Ethiopian Airlines purchased the 737 MAX 8 that would later crash.
While flight tracking site FlightRadar24 reports the plane’s vertical speed was immediately unstable after takeoff, the cause of the accident is still uncertain.
But on March 11, Ethiopian Airlines announced it had recovered Flight ET-302’s Digital Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder from the wreckage. Their hope is that investigators will be able to recreate the final moments of the flight and explain the cause behind the fatal crash.