With the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on Sunday, the aviation community is rocked with concerns about the safety of the Boeing 737-MAX 8. It is the second brand new airplane that crashed in a span of only five months.
In late October, a 737 MAX 8 flown by Lion Air went down off the coast of Indonesia just minutes after takeoff.
There are many similarities between the two crashes. They both happened in the departure phase of the flight and the pilots lost control of the aircraft before getting the opportunity to return to the airport.
A message from the Boeing company says that it is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. They extended heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stands ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team.
A Boeing technical team will be traveling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.
As a precautionary measure, China, Ethiopia and Indonesia have grounded all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft while a number of airlines across the world are carrying out safety measures on their 737 MAX aircraft.
In the Caribbean, Cayman Airways had grounded their two 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The carrier’s President and CEO, Fabian Whorms said “while the cause of this sad loss is undetermined at this time, we stand by our commitment to putting the safety of our passengers and crew first by maintaining complete and undoubtable safe operations, and as such, we have taken the decision to suspend operations of both our new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, effective from Monday March 11, 2019, until more information is received.”
Caribbean Airlines which recently announced that it will be adding the 737 MAX 8 aircraft to their fleet said in a statement that the airline industry is one of the most highly regulated industries in the world and there are rigorous processes and regulatory procedures to follow before any aircraft is brought into service.
Caribbean Airlines will incorporate the procedural and training elements necessary to comply with all regulations and instructions before any new aircraft is introduced to its fleet.
Around the world, other airlines are adopting a wait and see attitude. There are approximately 350 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in service.