Ethiopia, China and other countries announced Monday that they would ground the type of U.S. aircraft that was involved in a devastating Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed everyone on board Sunday just minutes after takeoff.
However, U.S. and European regulators took no immediate action in the wake of the crash of the flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, the second in recent months involving the 737 Max 8.
“The European Aviation Safety Agency will assess the risk and decide based on information received if there is any further action,” European Commission spokesman Enrico Brivio said.
Likewise, carriers in the United States and Europe said they would wait for more details before deciding whether to ground the planes, which are manufactured by Chicago-based Boeing.
“We are in close dialogue with Boeing,” said Norwegian Air, which has several of the aircraft in its fleet.
Boeing said Monday that it has no reason to recommend that airlines ground the plane.
China orders airlines to ground Boeing 737 Max 8 jets
Following the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash, China’s aviation regulator ordered Chinese airlines to suspend their Boeing 737 MAX aircraft operations March 11.
“The investigation is in its early stages, but at this point, based on the information available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators,” a company spokesman said via email.
A national day of mourning has been declared in Ethiopia, and investigators are sifting through the crash site to identify remains of the 157 people killed so they can be turned over to families. Ethiopian Airlines reported that the “black box” voice and data recorders have been recovered from the plane.
The Air Line Pilots Association International cautioned against drawing too many parallels between Sunday’s crash and that of a Lion Air flight that crashed into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia, in October. All 189 passengers and crew on board died.
“As the various parties responsible for this investigation begin their work, we caution against speculation about what may have caused this tragic accident,” the group said in a statement. “ALPA stands ready, through the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations, to assist the international aviation community in every way possible with the shared goal of advancing a safer air transportation system around the globe.”
Even so, Ethiopian Airlines said its fleet of the planes would be grounded as an “extra safety precaution.”
Credits/The Washington Post