Bans on Boeing 737 MAX rolled out across the world

A host of countries outlaw the use of Boeing’s state-of-the-art aircraft in their airspace after Ethiopia plane crash.

Boeing 737 MAX 8 Planes Face Renewed Scrutiny After Second Crash In 5 Months
Boeing has delivered about 350 of the approximately $120m each 737 MAX 8's to date, with more than 4,500 in total ordered since 2017 [Stephen Brashear/AFP]

From the US to Australia, a raft of countries and airlines across the world have moved to ground Boeing 737 MAX aircraft following a deadly plane crash in Ethiopia on Sunday.

All 157 people on board the Ethiopian Airlines-run Boeing 737 MAX 8 died in the crash, when the US-manufactured plane came down six minutes after taking off from the capital, Addis Ababa.

It was the second fatal incident involving the same model in fewer than six months – a Lion Air plane of the same model crashed in Indonesia in October last year, killing 189 people – prompting intense scrutiny over the aeroplane’s control systems.

Experts are chasing details on Sunday’s crash, but answers could take months.

Boeing defended its aircraft and said it has “full confidence in the safety of the Max” but also called for the temporary grounding of it’s “entire global fleet” of the 737 MAX aircraft “out of an abundance of caution”.

The uncertainty has spooked investors and caused the aerospace giant’s share price to plummet amid a rollout of precautionary bans and suspensions on flying the model.

Here’s a list of who’s taken action so far following the tragedy in Ethiopia.

United States

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on Wednesday it had ordered the grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft operated by US airlines or in US territory, pending further investigation.

The move came minutes after US President Donald Trump issued an emergency order calling for the grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft in the country.

European Union

The European Union’s aviation safety agency EASA on Tuesday suspended all flights in the bloc by Boeing’s 737-8 and 737-9 aircraft following Sunday’s plane crash.

EASA said in a statement the suspension would go into effect from 1900 GMT onwards.

EASA was also “suspending all commercial flights performed by third-country operators into, within or out of the EU of the above mentioned models”, the statement said.


Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s personal assistant said on Wednesday the African nation had joined other countries and banned the use of Boeing 737 MAX 8 in its airspace.

“Such planes will not be allowed into Nigeria until the cause of the plane crash is determined,” Buhari’s assistant, Bashir Ahmaad, said in a Tweet, citing Sunday’s crash in Ethiopia.

United Kingdom

Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority on Tuesday banned all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from “arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace” as a “precautionary measure“.


There are currently five 737 MAX aircraft registered and operational in the UK. A sixth was planned to commence operations later this week.


Chinese authorities on Monday ordered all domestic airlines to suspend operation of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, citing the two crashes.

Noting “similarities” between the two incidents, China’s Civil Aviation Administration said operation of the model would only resume after “confirming the relevant measures to effectively ensure flight safety”.

China is a hugely important market for the US aircraft company, accounting for about one-fifth of worldwide deliveries of Boeing 737 MAX models.


India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation announced on Tuesday it had taken the decision to ground Boeing 737-MAX planes immediately.

“These planes will be grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations,” the ministry said in a tweet.


Canada’s transport minister announced on Wednesday the country was closing its airspace to Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets until further notice following Sunday’s crash in Ethiopia.

This safety notice restricts commercial passenger flights from any air operator, both domestic and foreign, of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft – from arriving, departing, or overflying Canadian airspace,” Transport Minister Marc Garneau said in a statement.


The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Tuesday in a statement it was “temporarily suspending operation of all variants of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of Singapore”.

The move was made “in light of two fatal accidents involving Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in less than five months”, the CAAS said.


Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) said on Tuesday it has temporarily suspended the operation of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to or from Australia.

CASA CEO Shane Carmody said the move was in the best interests of safety “while we wait for more information to review the safety risks of continued operations of the Boeing 737 MAX to and from Australia”.

No Australian airlines operate the Boeing 737 MAX, but two foreign airlines fly the models to Australia, according to the CASA.


Turkey’s flagship carrier, Turkish Airlines, announced on Tuesday it was suspending flights using its fleet of 12 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft following the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash.

“Until the uncertainty surrounding the safety of the 737 MAX is clarified, we are withdrawing these planes from commercial flights from March 13,” Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Eksi said in a tweet.



France‘s Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) on Tuesday announced it had banned all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from its airspace.

“Given the circumstances of the accident in Ethiopia, the French authorities have taken the decision, as a precautionary measure, to ban all commercial flights of Boeing 737 MAXs into, out of, or over French territory,” the DGAC said in a statement.


German airspace has been closed off to Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes due to safety concerns following Sunday’s crash, a spokesman for the country’s transport ministry said on Tuesday.

“Security comes first. I have ordered closing German airspace immediately to Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and this will be effective until all doubts are cleared,” Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer told local television news channel n-tv.



The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said on Tuesday it had temporarily suspended the “operation of all variants of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of Irish airspace”.

“This decision has been taken based on ensuring the continued safety of passengers and flight crew, which is the IAA’s number one priority,” the organisation said in a statement.

South Korea

South Korea‘s transport ministry said on Tuesday it had advised Eastar Jet, the nation’s only airline to operate Boeing 737 MAX 8s, to ground its two planes. The budget carrier had agreed to suspend its use of the aircraft starting Wednesday, it added.


The Mongolian Civil Aviation Authority said on Facebook it had ordered the state carrier MIAT Mongolian Airlines to ground the sole Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in its fleet.


Indonesia said it was grounding its 11 jets of the 737 MAX 8 type.

Inspections of the aircraft would start Tuesday and the planes would remain grounded until they were cleared by safety regulators, Director General of Air Transport Polana Pramesti told reporters.

The Lion Air crash in October is still unresolved.


Malaysian authorities on Tuesday said all flights by Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft into and out of the country had been suspended.


The Civil Aviation Authority said in a short statement that no Malaysian carriers operate the MAX 8, but that foreign airlines were banned from flying the plane in Malaysia, and from transiting in the country, until further notice.


Oman‘s Public Authority for Civil Aviation announced on Tuesday the suspension of flights by Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in its jurisdiction “until further notice”.

The state-owned Oman Air, which operates five Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, said flights operated by those planes “will be suspended as soon as possible”.

“We are in the process of making the necessary rescheduling and will advise our guests of any flight cancellations,” the airline said.

United Arab Emirates

The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority made the announcement it would join the ongoing investigation into the crash and ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9s, the Emirates’ state-run WAM news agency reported.

It said it was in touch with authorities in China and elsewhere, calling its ban on the aircraft in its airspace “a precautionary measure”.

After the Emirates banned the aircraft, FlyDubai said it would be “adjusting its schedule to minimise disruption to passengers”.

Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines said on Sunday it had grounded its Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet “until further notice”.

“Although we don’t yet know the cause of the accident, we have to decide to ground the particular fleet as an extra safety precaution,” said the state-owned carrier, Africa’s largest.

Norwegian Air

Norwegian airline Norwegian Air announced on Tuesday it had suspended operations involving its Boeing 737 MAX fleet.

“Norwegian will not operate any flights with this aircraft type until further notice,” the company said in a statement.

Norwegian Air cited decisions by “relevant aviation regulatory bodies” as the rationale for its move.


South African airline Comair said on Monday it had “decided to remove its 737 MAX 8 [fleet] from its flight schedule”.

“The safety and confidence of our customers and crew is always our priority,” Wrenelle Stander, executive director of Comair’s airline division, said in a statement.

Gol Linhas Aereas

Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas said on Monday it was temporarily suspending its commercial operations with the plane.



Mexican carrier Aeromexico, which has six 737 MAX 8s in its fleet, announced on Monday that it was grounding the aircraft, citing the “security of its operations and the peace of the customers”.

Aerolineas Argentinas

Argentina‘s flagship carrier, Aerolineas Argentinas, said on Monday it had suspended the operation of its five 737 MAX 8s pending the result of investigations into the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines plane.

“For Aerolineas Argentinas, the most important value is security,” the carrier said in a statement.

Cayman Airways

Cayman Airways, the flagship carrier of the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands, announced on Sunday it was suspending operations of its two Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft “until more information is received“.

The suspension took effect on Monday.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies